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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111

Abstract

LLORENS-IVORRA, Cristóbal; ARROYO-BANULS, Ilona; QUILES-IZQUIERDO, Joan  and  RICHART-MARTINEZ, Miguel. Evaluation of school menu food balance in the Autonomous Community of Valencia (Spain) by means of a questionnaire. Gac Sanit [online]. 2018, vol.32, n.6, pp.533-538. ISSN 0213-9111.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2017.01.010.

Objective

To evaluate school menu food balance in the Autonomous Community of Valencia (Spain) by means of a questionnaire.

Method

Observational cross-section study. For convenience it shows of 255 monthly school menus (20 days each). Independent variables: size of the city the school is in, province, location (coast vs. inland), ownership (public vs. private), design of the menu (company vs. school) and month (May vs. October). The 17-item EQ-MEs questionnaire was used as a tool to measure balance. Differences in the balance of the menus and the average of monthly servings were compared, taking into account the different levels of the independent variables.

Results

The average of the balance index obtained was 9.19 points (range: 0-17). Approximately 78.4% of menus were designed by companies. Approximately 60.4% were classified as suitable and 0.8% as balanced. The menus designed by companies obtained a higher score (9.49) than those designed by schools (8.13). Menus in Castellón (10.35) achieved a higher score than those in Alicante (9.43) and Valencia (8.86). Only 3.1% of the studied menus met serving recommendations in terms of meat, 37.6% met pulses serving recommendations, 49.4% met fish serving recommendations and 37% met fruit serving recommendations.

Conclusion

With the EQ-MEs questionnaire, most of the menus offered in the Autonomous Community of Valencia are suitable for children. To improve them, they should reduce fried potato, rice, pasta, meat, fried food and dairy product servings, while increasing pulses, fish, oily fish and fruit servings.

Keywords : School menu; Evaluation; Questionnaire; Primary school.

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