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  • Titill er á ensku Assessment of portion sizes and consumption of fruit and vegetables among Icelandic children in a school canteen with semi self-serving
  • Bakkalár
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Background: Fruit and vegetable consumption among children is generally lower than recommended in most countries, and according to current knowledge the consumption in Iceland is among the lowest in amounts. Results from recent national surveys on Icelandic 6 year-old children’s and adult’s diet showed that the population consumes on average half the 500 g daily recommended amount of fruit and vegetables. However, according to Icelandic Health Directorate, children 10 years of age need smaller amounts, or 200 g of vegetables and 200 g of fruit per day. In the handbook for school canteens issued by the Health Directorate in 2010, suggested portions of vegetables served for lunch are 60 g of boiled vegetables and 50 g of raw vegetables. Furthermore, published standard images, as the Plate or the Food circle, and the 5 a Day poster are used for nutrition education in order to help consumers about food choices. The aim of the present study was to see a) how much the children generally serve themselves and how much of it they eat and b) if consumption and self-serving portions of fruit and vegetables are proportionally in balance with protein-rich foods and carbohydrate-rich foods on the plate, according to recommendations.
    Methods: The study was conducted in an elementary school in Reykjavík, in April 2013. Participants (n=19) were 10 year-old children; 9 girls and 10 boys. Data from 174 plates was collected during lunchtime, over five non-consecutive days. All food was weighed and pictures taken of the plates. Second helpings were registered if any and leftovers were also weighed and photographed. Food from the plates was split up into food categories according to the Plate model; i.e. protein-rich food, carbohydrate-rich food and fruit and vegetables. Sauces, spreading and sugar added during meals were treated separately. In this paper the emphasis was on fruit and vegetables.
    Results: Fruit and vegetables represented 27 (±5 [8;22]) % of the total amount of food self-served on the plates. The children served themselves 76 (±22 [0;74]) g of fruit and vegetables and average consumption was 56 (±20 [-19;71]) g per child. By second helpings children had no vegetable at all, or 0 (±0 [0;0]) g, and 5 (±6 [0;55]) g of fruit on average per child.
    Conclusion: Children served themselves acceptable portions of fruit and vegetables with regard to the recommended ratio of 1/3 of the plate. They seemed to be aware of the recommended proportions of different food categories and served themselves fruit and vegetables according to that. Conversely, the amounts actually consumed were far from being satisfying or less than 1/7 (14%) of the 400 g daily recommended amount for 10 year-old children, whereas the suggested serving sizes for lunchtime in schools would add up to at least 100 g of fruit and vegetables (25%). Furthermore, leftovers were 26% of what had been served and fruit and vegetables were hardly ever taken by the second helping by any of the children.
    Keywords: Children – Fruit and vegetables – Portion sizes – Consumption – Self-serving

  • Nordforsk
  • Athugasemdir er á ensku This work was a part of a bigger study, Promeal, which is funded by Nordforsk. The Icelandic part of the study is being performed at the Icelandic Unit for Nutrition Research, University Hospital and University of Iceland and at the School of Education, University of Iceland. Researchers participating in this part of the study were: Anna Sigríður Ólafsdóttir which managed the project, Guðrún Kristín Sigurgeirsdóttir, Ingibjörg Kjartansdóttir, Ragnheiður Júníusdóttir and Þóra Margrét Theodórsdóttir.
  • 5.6.2013

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