School food provision in England: A historical journey

Kelly Rose, Amelia Lake, Louisa Ells, Laura Brown

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School food provision is an important lever to shape the eating behaviours and dietary intake of school-aged children and young people, and may help to address issues of children with obesity, inadequate nutrient intakes and the widening gap of health inequalities. The regulation of school meals has been an issue since 1940, with the challenges of developing a school food policy that supports health and wellbeing and can be effectively translated in practice remaining to the present day. This paper examines changes in school food policy with regards to school food provision in England since the 1940s, in relation to the political structure and decisions made by each respective government. It considers the lessons learned from the development of school food provision regulations over this period and possible ways to improve the standards of school food in the future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNutrition Bulletin
Early online date22 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2019


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