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School canteens: using ripples to create a wave of healthy eating

A Colin Bell and Boyd A Swinburn
Med J Aust 2005; 183 (1): 5-6.

Canteens are not the main source of food for Australian school kids, but their symbolism is big

There is widespread awareness of the obesity epidemic in Australian children,1 and the focus has now, quite appropriately, turned to action. In the United Kingdom, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is trying to transform a 100-year-old school lunch service from “soggy and fried” to “crisp and fresh”. In Australia, the question is whether school canteens should be a high priority for action, because of their accessibility and visibility, or a low priority, on the grounds that canteen foods contribute little to children’s energy intake.

  • A Colin Bell1
  • Boyd A Swinburn2

  • 1 School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC.
  • 2 School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: colin.bell@deakin.edu.au

Acknowledgements: 

We thank Bill Bellew, Elizabeth Develin, Sally Burt, Renee Andrews, Christina Pollard, Jan Lewis and Leon Calvetti for their valuable input. Colin Bell is supported by a VicHealth Public Health Research Fellowship.

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