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School meal programs and their potential to operate as school-based obesity prevention and nutrition interventions: case studies from France and Japan

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Case studies of government-funded school meal programs in France and Japan are presented as potential school-based child obesity prevention and nutrition intervention programs. It is argued that this type of intervention takes a wider systems-level approach to obesity prevention by addressing the multiple dimensions of child obesity including: socioeconomic status and household food insecurity, and the need for experiential education about healthy eating and nutrition. These programs provide models of financially accessible school meal provision for all children without the social stigma that is sometimes associated with subsidized meal programs. We argue that these school meal programs are potential models for long-term and sustainable child nutrition interventions.
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Keywords: France; Japan; nutrition; obesity prevention; school meal

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Anthropology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

Publication date: 14 March 2016

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