A pilot survey was conducted at two secondary schools in Nottinghamshire in order to determine lunchtime arrangements, expenditure, factors affecting food choice, the popularity of other foods and eating‐out places, the satisfaction with the dining room and the reasons for not using the cafeteria. A total of 839 questionnaires completed by the children were analysed. The survey revealed a decline in the use of the cafeteria with increasing age. The amount spent at lunchtime was a significant factor in indicating whether the child had a school meal. Variety was the main factor affecting food choice. Future research will examine in greater detail the non‐cafeteria user in order to develop targeting strategies for increasing school meal uptake.
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