The Food Environment of Primary School Learners in a Low-to-Middle-Income Area in Cape Town, South Africa

dc.contributor.authorO’Halloran, Siobhan A.
dc.contributor.authorEksteen, Gabriel
dc.contributor.authorPolayya, Nadene
dc.contributor.authorRopertz, Megan
dc.contributor.authorSenekal, Marjanne
dc.date.accessioned2021-10-12T10:51:51Z
dc.date.available2021-10-12T10:51:51Z
dc.date.issued2021-06-15
dc.date.updated2021-07-08T14:23:32Z
dc.description.abstractRapid changes in food environments, where less nutritious foods have become cheaper and more accessible, have led to the double burden of malnutrition (DBM). The role food environments have played in shaping the DBM has attained global interest. There is a paucity of food environment research in low-to-middle-income countries. We conducted a case study of the food environments of school aged learners. A primary school in Cape Town was recruited. A multi-method design was used: a home food and eating behaviours questionnaire completed by 102 household respondents and four questions completed by 152 learners; learner participatory photography; a semi-structured school principal interview; a tuckshop inventory; observation of three-day tuckshop purchases. Foods that were commonly present in households: refined carbohydrates, fats/oils, chicken, processed meats, vegetables, fruit, legumes, snacks/drinks. Two thirds of households had rules about unhealthy drinks/snacks, ate supper together and in front of the TV, ate a home cooked meal five–seven times/week and ate breakfast together under two times/week. Vegetables were eaten under two times/week in 45% of households. A majority of learners (84%) took a lunchbox to school. Twenty-five learners photographed their food environment and 15 participated in semi-structured interviews. Six themes emerged: where to buy; what is available in the home; meal composition; family dynamics; peer engagement; food preparation. Items bought at informal food outlets included snacks, drinks and grocery staples. The principal interview revealed the establishment of a healthy school food environment, including a vegetable garden, although unhealthy snacks were sold at the tuckshop. Key dimensions of the food environment that require further investigation in disadvantaged urban and informal settlement areas include the home availability of unhealthy foods, eating behaviours in households and healthfulness of foods sold by informal food outlets.en_US
dc.identifierdoi: 10.3390/nu13062043
dc.identifier.apacitation, Eksteen, G., Polayya, N., Ropertz, M., & Senekal, M. (2021). The Food Environment of Primary School Learners in a Low-to-Middle-Income Area in Cape Town, South Africa. <i>Nutrients</i>, 13(6), http://hdl.handle.net/11427/35199en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation, Gabriel Eksteen, Nadene Polayya, Megan Ropertz, and Marjanne Senekal "The Food Environment of Primary School Learners in a Low-to-Middle-Income Area in Cape Town, South Africa." <i>Nutrients</i> 13, 6. (2021) http://hdl.handle.net/11427/35199en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation, Eksteen, G., Polayya, N., Ropertz, M. & Senekal, M. 2021. The Food Environment of Primary School Learners in a Low-to-Middle-Income Area in Cape Town, South Africa. <i>Nutrients.</i> 13(6) http://hdl.handle.net/11427/35199en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Journal Article AU - O’Halloran, Siobhan A. AU - Eksteen, Gabriel AU - Polayya, Nadene AU - Ropertz, Megan AU - Senekal, Marjanne AB - Rapid changes in food environments, where less nutritious foods have become cheaper and more accessible, have led to the double burden of malnutrition (DBM). The role food environments have played in shaping the DBM has attained global interest. There is a paucity of food environment research in low-to-middle-income countries. We conducted a case study of the food environments of school aged learners. A primary school in Cape Town was recruited. A multi-method design was used: a home food and eating behaviours questionnaire completed by 102 household respondents and four questions completed by 152 learners; learner participatory photography; a semi-structured school principal interview; a tuckshop inventory; observation of three-day tuckshop purchases. Foods that were commonly present in households: refined carbohydrates, fats/oils, chicken, processed meats, vegetables, fruit, legumes, snacks/drinks. Two thirds of households had rules about unhealthy drinks/snacks, ate supper together and in front of the TV, ate a home cooked meal five–seven times/week and ate breakfast together under two times/week. Vegetables were eaten under two times/week in 45% of households. A majority of learners (84%) took a lunchbox to school. Twenty-five learners photographed their food environment and 15 participated in semi-structured interviews. Six themes emerged: where to buy; what is available in the home; meal composition; family dynamics; peer engagement; food preparation. Items bought at informal food outlets included snacks, drinks and grocery staples. The principal interview revealed the establishment of a healthy school food environment, including a vegetable garden, although unhealthy snacks were sold at the tuckshop. Key dimensions of the food environment that require further investigation in disadvantaged urban and informal settlement areas include the home availability of unhealthy foods, eating behaviours in households and healthfulness of foods sold by informal food outlets. DA - 2021-06-15 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town IS - 6 J1 - Nutrients LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PY - 2021 T1 - The Food Environment of Primary School Learners in a Low-to-Middle-Income Area in Cape Town, South Africa TI - The Food Environment of Primary School Learners in a Low-to-Middle-Income Area in Cape Town, South Africa UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/35199 ER - en_ZA
dc.identifier.urihttps://doi.org/10.3390/nu13062043
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11427/35199
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation, Eksteen G, Polayya N, Ropertz M, Senekal M. The Food Environment of Primary School Learners in a Low-to-Middle-Income Area in Cape Town, South Africa. Nutrients. 2021;13(6) http://hdl.handle.net/11427/35199.en_ZA
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisher.departmentDivision of Physiological Sciencesen_US
dc.publisher.facultyFaculty of Health Sciencesen_US
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/en_US
dc.sourceNutrientsen_US
dc.source.journalissue6en_US
dc.source.journalvolume13en_US
dc.source.urihttps://www.mdpi.com/journal/nutrients
dc.titleThe Food Environment of Primary School Learners in a Low-to-Middle-Income Area in Cape Town, South Africaen_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen_US
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