Background: The aim of this study was to assess the evolution of food supply (apart from school catering) between school years 2004/2005 and 2009/2010, in middle- and high-schools from the Aquitaine region (southwest France), in order to evaluate the impact of actions conducted within the framework and the program Nutrition, Prevention and Health of children and adolescents in Aquitaine (southwest France).
Methods: Two surveys were carried out among all middle- and high-schools of the Aquitaine region in 2004/2005 (n=536) and 2009/2010 (n=539) within the framework of a regional multidisciplinary public health program "Nutrition, prevention and health of children and teenagers in Aquitaine". For both 2004/2005 and 2009/2010, data were collected using the same questionnaire and dealt with school characteristics and modalities of food supply (apart from school catering).
Results: Response rate was 84.1% in 2004/2005 and 79.6% in 2009/2010. The proportion of schools offering food to pupils (apart from school catering) significantly decreased in 5 years (from 80.1% to 50.1%, P<0.001). Between 2004/2005 and 2009/2010, we observed a stabilization in the proportion of schools offering free food (from 19.7 to 17%, P=0.3), a significant decrease of those selling food (from 62.8 to 37.1, P<0.001), offering vending machines (from 43.5 to 7.2, P<0.001) and a significant increase of those offering water supply (from 8.2 to 44%, P<0.001). The composition of each modality of food supply (apart from school catering) has also been improved: less sweet and fat food, more bread and fruits.
Conclusion: This study shows an overall improvement of food supply apart from school catering (food sale, free food and vending machines) in middle- and high-schools from the Aquitaine region (southwest France) between 2004/2005 and 2009/2010. This improvement is related to the proportion of schools offering food (quantitative improvement), as well as to the composition of food supply (qualitative improvement). These results show an improvement of food supply (apart from school catering), suggesting that actions implemented in the framework of the program "Nutrition, prevention and health of children and adolescents in Aquitaine" may have led to these improvements.
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