“HOW TO IMPROVE F&V CONSUMPTION AT SCHOOL?”
Growing evidence has shown that low consumption of fruits and vegetables (F&V) is associated with the risk of some chronic diseases, particularly obesity. Prevention efforts need to include early interventions to increase F&V consumption of children. Several international studies have shown that school intervention early in childhood is of major importance and that both school and home play a complementary role. So, the question becomes “how to make the consumption of F&V increase in schools ?”
International initiatives have been developed and have concerned 3 types of experiences:
- Increasing F&V availability in canteens, like the “Farm to school” program in Michigan, or with vending machines;
- Organizing gardening activities at school;
- Offering a fruit or a vegetable for snack, experiences followed in Denmark and Norway. In 2008, this was one of the priority areas of the public health policies of the French Ministry of Agriculture, with the program “un fruit pour la recré” (“a fruit for recreation time”). This type of program will spread all over the European countries by the end of 2009 with the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme. The purpose is not only to improve children’s knowledge, but also to change habits and behaviors.