SETTING: Childhood obesity is of growing public health concern in Fiji.
The study setting was primary schools in Fiji's Western Division.
OBJECTIVE: 1. To assess primary schools' compliance with national
school canteen guidelines, 2. to understand reasons for non-compliance,
and 3. to assess the relationship between compliance with the guidelines
and students' body mass index (BMI).
DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of data collected in 2010 by public
health dieticians of the Ministry of Health on annual visits to primary
RESULTS: Among 230 schools, 33 (14%) had no canteen data. Of the 197
schools with data, only 31 (16%) were fully compliant with national
school canteen guidelines, while the remaining 166 (84%) did not fully
comply with the guidelines. This was irrespective of school location or
whether the canteen was school or commercially operated. In a random
sample (n = 44 schools), overweight and obesity were more common among
children in non-compliant schools than in fully compliant schools (40%
vs. 32%, P = 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Most primary schools in Fiji's Western Division did not
comply with school canteen guidelines, which is worrying given the
increasing rates of overweight children. Given the association between
non-compliance and student overweight/obesity, further action is needed
to ensure that these guidelines are implemented.
Varman, S.; Bullen, C.; Tayler-Smith, K.; Van den Bergh, R.; Khogali, M. Primary school compliance with school canteen guidelines in Fiji and its association with student obesity. Public Health Action (2013) 3 (1) 81-84. [DOI: 10.5588/pha.12.0063]
Primary school compliance with school canteen guidelines in Fiji and its association with student obesity.