Affiliations: [a] Department of Life, Medicine and Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, Italy
| [b] Psychology Department, Milano-Bicocca University, Italy
| [c] Lombard Academy of Public Health, Italy
Corresponding author: Maria Scatigna, MSc, PhD., Researcher, Department of Life, Health and Environmental Sciences, University of L’Aquila, Ospedale San Salvatore –Delta 6, 67010 Coppito (L’Aquila) Italy. Tel.: +39 0862 434692; +39 328 0204032; Fax: +39 0862 433425; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: BACKGROUND:A healthy diet is a major factor in childhood for proper mental and physical development, and schools are valuable settings for promoting nutritional health. Teachers have a key role as educators and as a link between children, families, and institutions. OBJECTIVES:The study aims at describing the teachers’ profile and to evaluate the level of adherence of their schools to the recommendations by Health Promoting Schools concerning nutritional issues. METHODS:A cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of 131 Spanish and Italian teachers from kindergartens and primary schools. RESULTS:The lack of a structured approach to school food emerged, as well as a low quality level of food consumption at school. Among the positive aspects, there is the compliance with the dietary reference values for the intake of nutrients and energy of meals supplied by cafeterias and the collaboration with nutritionists in health services, but other desirable circumstances are neglected (e.g. training courses for staff, the involvement of students, supply of water and vegetables such as healthy drinks and snacks). CONCLUSION:The study confirmed the need to train teachers and to strengthen school action plans, particularly the agenda around the sustainability of the school food and nutrition environment.
Keywords: Keywords: Nutrition, Health Promoting School, teachers, dietary habits, role modelling, recommendation adherence