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Revista Paulista de Pediatria

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MATUK, Tatiana Tenorio; STANCARI, Paula Cristina S.; BUENO, Milena Baptista  and  ZACCARELLI, Eliana Menegon. Contents of students lunchboxes in private schools of São Paulo, Brazil. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.2, pp.157-163. ISSN 0103-0582.

OBJETIVE: To evaluate the composition of lunchboxes of children attending second to fifth grades of private schools in São Paulo, Brazil. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was performed in five units of a private school, located in different regions of the metropolitan area of São Paulo, Brazil. Every lunchbox was checked for three non-consecutive days in the year 2008. All children from second to fifth grades of these units (n=501) were studied and categorized according to the presence or absence of each food group in the lunchboxes on at least one of the three days of observation. RESULTS: Among the children studied, 82% brought cereals, 67% artificial juices and other beverages, 65% milk and dairy foods, 51% cake, biscuits and cereal bars with filling and/or icing and 35% sausages in at least one day. The frequency of students who brought fruit and natural juices was 33%, and vegetables 4%. Girls more often took fruits and vegetables to school (p<0.05). Older students more often did not carry lunchboxes to the school, compared to younger ones, during the three days of observation (11 and 4% respectively; p<0,05). CONCLUSIONS: The composition of the school lunch-boxes, despite some positive aspects, was inadequate. Lunchboxes presented over-processed foods, usually with a high content of sugar, fat and sodium, and absence of fruits and vegetables.

Keywords : school feeding; child; food habits.

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