Photo: Children at an elementary school in Toronto eat snacks in the cafeteria in 2004, the first year of the study. Since then, younger kids have continued to eat more nutritiously than teens. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have found that the diet quality of students (age 6 – 17) in Canada improved significantly between 2004 and 2015. This includes consumption of a higher number of servings of fruits and vegetables, as well as lower consumption of sugar sweetened beverages. The research was published Monday in the journal Public Health Nutrition.
Here at F2CC we’re committed to evaluating promising practices to inform policy, so we’re thrilled to see more evidence emerging on this topic. We also know Farm to School initiatives can play an important contributing role in these healthy lifestyle changes by providing students with access to healthy, local foods at school while also teaching food literacy.
Indeed, consistent with these important findings out of UBC, preliminary results from the evaluation of F2S initiatives in five provides, as part of the Farm to School: Canada Digs In! initiative, found that students who participated in a Farm to School Salad Bar ate 34% more fruits and vegetables, 16% less sodium and 18% less sugar than those who did not. These findings were based on food recall interviews with more than 500 students in grades 4 through 6 in British Columbia and Ontario, and is part of a comprehensive 3-year evaluation – the first of its kind in Canada – that will be completed in 2020.
Learn more about the UBC study by accessing the CBC news article, full journal publication; and about our work, by accessing our latest resource, the Farm to School Food Guide, which demonstrates how F2S can support eating well, and living well with the new Canada Food Guide.