Energy and nutrient intake and acceptability of nutritionally balanced school meals in Filipino students

  • Angeles-Agdeppa I
  • Neufingerl N
  • Magsadia C
 et al. 
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Abstract

Background. School meals provide an excellent opportunity to improve children's diet. Objective. To investigate dietary intakes and acceptance of nutritionally balanced school meals ("nutrimeals") as compared with regular ("baseline") school meals among Filipino students. Methods. The study employed a before-after intervention design with one group. Students 13 to 16 years of age from a public school in Metro Manila (n = 112) consumed baseline school meals for 2 weeks followed by consumption of nutri-meals for 7 weeks. Served meals and plate waste were weighed to calculate food and nutrient intakes. Acceptability of meals was assessed daily in a random subsample using a seven-point hedonic scale. Analysis of covariance corrected for age and sex was conducted to test for differences in nutrient intakes and acceptability between nutri-meals and baseline meals. Results. Feeding nutri-meals resulted in a higher intake of vegetables (95.3 ± 13.8 g), fruit (76.5 ± 6.3 g), and fish (19.1 ± 3.3 g) than baseline meals. Energy and protein intakes significantly increased by 140.7 ± 2.8 kcal and 3.2 ± 0.1 g, respectively. The quality of fat intake improved compared with baseline meals (p 90%) liked both baseline and nutrimeals; however, the mean acceptability score for baseline meals was slightly higher (0.2 ± 0.07 points, p =.004). Conclusions. Nutritionally balanced nutri-meals may be a healthier and acceptable alternative to regular Filipino school meals. Further optimization of nutri-meals is required to meet the nutritional needs of adolescents and reduce sodium content.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Intake
  • Liking
  • School lunch

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Authors

  • Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa

  • Clarita Magsadia

  • Harry Hiemstra

  • Chona Patalen

  • Ans Eilander

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