Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Public health action
Title Primary school compliance with school canteen guidelines in Fiji and its association with student obesity
Author(s)
Volume 3
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 81-84
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4463082/
Abstract
Setting:
Childhood obesity is of growing public health concern in Fiji. The study setting was primary schools in Fiji’s Western Division.

Objective:
1) To assess primary schools’ compliance with national school canteen guidelines, 2) to understand reasons for non-compliance, and 3) to assess the relationship between compliance with the guidelines and students’ body mass index (BMI).

Design:
Cross-sectional analysis of data collected in 2010 by public health dieticians of the Ministry of Health on annual visits to primary schools.

Results:
Among 230 schools, 33 (14%) had no canteen data. Of the 197 schools with data, only 31 (16%) were fully compliant with national school canteen guidelines, while the remaining 166 (84%) did not fully comply with the guidelines. This was irrespective of school location or whether the canteen was school or commercially operated. In a random sample (n = 44 schools), overweight and obesity were more common among children in non-compliant schools than in fully compliant schools (40% vs. 32%, P < 0.001).

Conclusion:
Most primary schools in Fiji’s Western Division did not comply with school canteen guidelines, which is worrying given the increasing rates of overweight children. Given the association between non-compliance and student overweight/obesity, further action is needed to ensure that these guidelines are implemented.

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