Healthy and unhealthy eating at lower secondary school in Norway

M Hilsen, Terje Eikemo, E Bere

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To assess adolescents' eating/drinking habits of a selection of healthy and unhealthy food items at school, variations in gender and socioeconomic status in these eating habits, and variations between the schools. Methods: A cross-sectional study among 2870 adolescents (mean age: 15.5 years) within the Fruits and Vegetables Make the Marks (FVMM) project. A survey questionnaire was completed by the pupils in the classroom in the presence of a trained project worker. One school lesson (45 minutes) was used to complete the questionnaire. A total of two healthy (fruit and vegetables (FV), water) and five unhealthy (candy and/or potato chips, sweet bakery, instant noodles, regular soft drinks, and diet soft drinks) food items were assessed by food frequency questions. All variables were dichotomised to less than once a week and once a week or more. Results: Several pupils reported to consume snacks (33%), sweet bakery (36%) and regular soft drinks (24%) at school at least once a week. The proportion of pupils who reported to eat FV at least once a week (40%) was low. Girls and pupils with plans of higher education had a more favourable intake of healthy versus unhealthy food items at school. In two-level variance component analyses the proportional school variation ranged from 3.4% (diet soft drinks) to 30.7% (noodles). Conclusions: A large number of adolescents consume unhealthy food items at school and few eat FV. Large differences were observed between groups of pupils and between the schools in consumption of these foods.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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