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Keywords:

  • nutrition;
  • school environment;
  • children;
  • New Zealand;
  • survey

Abstract

Objective : To compare two surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009, of the food and nutrition environment in New Zealand primary schools.

Methods : A sample of primary schools was asked about foods and beverages provided or sold to students or used for fundraising, and nutrition-related policies and procedures. Comparisons were made between school decile groups and between years.

Results: Of primary schools selling food or beverages, 34% sold ‘everyday’ items once or more a day (39% in 2007) and 25% sold ‘occasional’ items once or more a day (36% in 2007). Two-thirds of schools sold food or beverages for fundraising, generally once a term or less. About half the schools had written policies about food (increased from 2007).

Conclusion: There have been some improvements in the food and nutrition environment, with primary schools from lower deciles more likely to be making changes.

Implications: The reduction in funding for nutrition-related programs in primary schools may hinder the sustainability of the changes seen, especially in low decile schools.