Adherence to school food and associated factors among adolescents in public schools in the Southern region of Brazil

Josiane Tiborski Cesar Cesar Augusto Taconeli Mônica Maria Osório Suely Teresinha Schmidt About the authors

Abstract

The scope of this study was to analyze adherence to school food and associated factors among adolescents from public state schools in the municipality of Lapa, Paraná, in the Southern region of Brazil. The study uses a cross-sectional and analytical design and includes 492 male and female adolescents aged 10 to 19 years from five urban and five rural schools in the municipality. The students underwent anthropometric assessment and answered a questionnaire about school food and alternative food intakes (purchased or home-cooked). Their parents/guardians answered a questionnaire about their demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. An adjusted proportional odds regression model investigated the associations. The effective adherence to school food was 30.1% in rural schools and 23.7% in urban schools. Dislike of the food preparation was the main reason for non-adherence. The results showed lesser adherence among adolescents with higher per capita family income who consumed alternative food products four to five times per week. Adolescents who considered school food healthy showed higher adherence. Low adherence to school food indicates the inadequate universality of the program. The factors revealed may help to improve program planning and execution.

Key words
Adolescent; School food; Public policies

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