South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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Nutritional environment at secondary schools in Bloemfontein, South Africa

L Meko, M Slabber-Stretch, C Walsh, S Kruger


Objective: The objective was to determine the nutritional environment at secondary schools in Bloemfontein, Free State province.
Design: This was a cross-sectional, descriptive study.
Subjects and setting: The subjects were secondary school principals in Bloemfontein, Free State province, in 2006.
Method: Principals of 10 secondary schools who were already participating in a larger study on 26 schools completed structured questionnaires
on nutrition practices.
Results: Four schools utilised nutrition education programmes. None had vending machines. Two schools sold dairy products. Biscuits and
chocolates were sold at eight schools, and sweets, crisps and fast food at all of the schools.
Conclusion: The nutrition environment at Bloemfontein secondary schools does not support healthy eating habits. Nutrition policies need to
be introduced to improve the nutritional environment at schools as the available food for learners at the tuck shops and/or via the vendors
was mostly unhealthy.
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