• Mads Winther Olsen
  • Julie Nyholm Jensen
4. term, Public Health, Master (Master Programme)
A substantial proportion of Danish school children have an inexpedient diet, which can have short- and long-term consequences. After the Danish school reform in 2014 the children spend up to eight hours a day in school, which is why it is relevant to explore the nutrition they consume in this context. School food programs are an opportunity to influence the food the children consume and there is solid evidence that breakfast programs are beneficial for school children. However, there is a knowledge gap in relation to lunch programs and in the specific local context, the school administration in the municipality of Aalborg lacks knowledge of how the different schools handle nutrition.
The purpose of this thesis is to contribute with knowledge about implementation and modification of school food programs in municipal primary and lower secondary school as well as knowledge of how the 50 schools in the municipality of Aalborg offers different food choices for the children. This will create a basis for a change proposal that helps schools, students and society to increase the public health.
The design of this thesis is an iterative mixed method, which includes a study of the literature, a questionnaire and observations. The questionnaire applies a positivistic approach, where all 50 schools are invited to participate via phone interview. 42 schools responded giving a response rate of 84 %. The questionnaire is based on findings in the study of the literature. The observations are based on a social constructivist approach, where two schools are selected to participate based on information from the questionnaire. Each school is observed three times and the whole course of observations last 14 days. The schools´ dining area, sales area and kitchen are observed and the findings are analysed using John Dewey´s Pragmatism.
Finally, these findings are compiled and assessed using the Active Implementation Frameworks model.
73,8 % of the schools in the municipality of Aalborg have a school food program, with the largest schools more often having a program than the smaller ones. Barriers to implementing a food program include the school´s economy, time spent on the program, small school size, lack of access to staff and equipment, and nutritional policies that are too restrictive. Facilitating factors include commitment from the management, a good relationship between canteen staff and students as well as a high degree of student involvement.
The conclusion of this thesis is a series of recommendations for the development of a healthy school food program. The recommendations consist of four phases with specific and evidence based suggestions that schools can follow.
Publication date7 Jun 2017
Number of pages354
ID: 259178272