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|Title:||WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative : school nutrition environment and body mass index in primary schools|
|Authors:||Wijnhoven, Trudy M. A.|
Van Raaij, Joop M. A.
Rito, Ana I.
Farrugia Sant’Angelo, Victoria
Nutrition -- Europe
Obesity -- Europe
Exercise -- Health aspects
Obesity in children -- Europe
|Citation:||Wijnhoven, T., Van Raaij, J., Sjöberg, A., Eldin, N., Yngve, A., Kunešová, M., ... & Martos, É. (2014). WHO European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative: school nutrition environment and body mass index in primary schools. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 11(11), 11261-11285.|
|Abstract:||Background: Schools are important settings for the promotion of a healthy diet and sufficient physical activity and thus overweight prevention. Objective: To assess differences in school nutrition environment and body mass index (BMI) in primary schools between and within 12 European countries. Methods: Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) European Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) were used (1831 and 2045 schools in 2007/2008 and 2009/2010, respectively). School personnel provided information on 18 school environmental characteristics on nutrition and physical ctivity. A school nutrition environment score was calculated using five nutrition-related characteristics whereby higher scores correspond to higher support for a healthy school nutrition environment. Trained field workers measured children’s weight and height; BMI-for-age (BMI/A) Z-scores were computed using the 2007 WHO growth reference and, for each school, the mean of the children’s BMI/A Z-scores was calculated. Results: Large between-country differences were found in the availability of food items on the premises (e.g., fresh fruit could be obtained in 12%95% of schools) and school nutrition environment scores (range: 0.300.93). Low-score countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania) graded less than three characteristics as supportive. High-score (≥0.70) countries were Ireland, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden. The combined absence of cold drinks containing sugar, sweet snacks and salted snacks were more observed in high-score countries than in low-score countries. Largest within-country school nutrition environment scores were found in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania. All country-level BMI/A Z-scores were positive (range: 0.201.02), indicating higher BMI values than the 2007 WHO growth reference. With the exception of Norway and Sweden, a country-specific association between the school nutrition environment score and the school BMI/A Z-score was not observed. Conclusions: Some European countries have implemented more school policies that are supportive to a healthy nutrition environment than others. However, most countries with low school nutrition environment scores also host schools with supportive school environment policies, suggesting that a uniform school policy to tackle the “unhealthy” school nutrition environment has not been implemented at the same level throughout a country and may underline the need for harmonized school policies.|
|Appears in Collections:||Scholarly Works - ERCMedGen|
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