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Contribution of “packed lunches” to the dietary intake of 11‐12‐year‐old children

Lesley Douglas (Lecturer in the School of Leisure and Tourism at the University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, UK)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 1 August 1999



Packed lunches are a popular form of midday meal for children at school. This study of 11‐12‐year‐old children in Northern Ireland found sandwiches, crisps, chocolate and carbonated drinks to be popular items included in a packed lunch. Dairy produce and fruit were poorly represented. The nutritional quality varied with the type of lunch. The contribution of fat and saturated fatty acids to total energy intake were in all cases far in excess of recommended dietary guidelines. Such high intakes of fat militate against the reduction in the incidence of coronary heart disease in Northern Ireland. The intake of dietary fibre and several micronutrients were inadequate. Knowledge of healthier foods was not translated into food consumption. If major diseases in the longer term are to be minimised a challenge exists for those responsible for food preparation ± parents, food processors and suppliers in the hospitality industry to produce foods which are healthier while not adversely affecting their acceptability to children.



Douglas, L. (1999), "Contribution of “packed lunches” to the dietary intake of 11‐12‐year‐old children", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 99 No. 4, pp. 181-186.




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