Table 2

Parents’ perspective on aspects of the school food policy
N %
School food rules
“Does your child’s school have rules about the food and drinks children are allowed to consume during…”
Morning break
Yes 1108 78.2
No 216 15.3
Unknown 92 6.5
Birthday celebration
Yes 631 44.9
No 620 44.1
Unknown 155 11.0
Lunch break
Yes 606 42.8
No 431 30.5
Unknown 378 26.7
Compliance with school food rules *
“Do you comply with the food rules?”
Morning break
Always 905 81.8
Not always 202 18.2
Birthday celebration
Always 453 72.5
Not always 172 27.5
Lunch break
Always 531 88.6
Not always 68 11.4
Reasons for non-compliance with school food rules**
“Why do you not always comply with the school food rules?”
Morning break
Nothing else available at home 78 37.9
Almost no-one sticks to food rules 11 5.4
Child takes his/her own snack 36 17.5
Not always aware of rules 20 9.7
Disagree with rules 16 7.8
Other reason 45 21.8
Birthday celebration
Almost no-one sticks to food rules 42 22.7
Not always aware of rules 14 7.6
Disagree with rules 19 10.3
Wishes child 70 37.8
Other reason 40 21.6
Lunch break
Nothing else available at home 17 25.0
Almost no-one sticks to food rules 4 5.9
Child takes his/her own snack 6 8.8
Not always aware of rules 11 16.1
Disagree with rules 14 20.6
Other reason 16 23.5
Enforcement of school food rules***
“ I believe that my child’s school should more strongly enforce the food rules for morning breaks and classroom celebrations”
Agree 325 28.1
No opinion 460 39.8
Disagree 371 32.1
Appreciation of food rules***
“I appreciate that my child’s school has food rules about the food children are allowed to eat during morning breaks”
Agree 943 76.5
No opinion 230 18.7
Disagree 59 4.8
“I appreciate that my child’s school has food rules about the food children are allowed to offer during classroom celebrations”
Agree 618 60.0
No opinion 336 32.6
Disagree 76 7.4
Role of the school in fostering healthy eating habits among children***
it is a responsibility of the school to foster healthy eating habits among children”
Agree 696 49.8
No opinion 454 32.5
Disagree 247 17.5

* Answering categories ranged from “yes, always” to “no, never” on a 5-point scale. For the purpose of analysis the variables were classified into “always” (‘yes, always) versus “not always” (‘yes, usually’, ‘no, usually not’, ‘sometimes’ and ‘no, never’).

** Multiple answers possible.

***Answering categories ranged from “completely agree” to “completely disagree” on a 5-point scale. For the purpose of analysis the variables were classified into “agree” (‘completely agree’ and ‘agree’); “no opinion” and “disagree” (‘disagree’ and ‘completely disagree’).

van Ansem et al.

van Ansem et al. BMC Public Health 2013 13:339   doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-339

Open Data