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

A Colin Bell and Boyd A Swinburn
Med J Aust 2005; 183 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2005.tb06876.x
Published online: 4 July 2005

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.



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.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.