Chapter

Background to the study

Roberto J. Rona, Walter W. Holland and Susan Chinn

in The National Study of Health and Growth

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780192629197
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191723612 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192629197.003.0001
Background to the study

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In 1970, the government announced changes to end the provision of free welfare milk, free school milk following the child's seventh birthday, and school meals to become less subsidised over time. As a consequence of these changes a sub-committee on nutritional surveillance (COMA), convened by the Department of Health and Social Security, was formed to consider arrangements required for the prediction and assessment of any nutritional effects of changes in welfare policy. The sub-committee recommended the assessment of growth, especially height, as the main outcome and proposed to set up a monitoring system of children between five and eleven years old. The measurements chosen were height, weight, and triceps skinfold thickness. Information on sociodemographic characteristics related to nutrition was also collected, as changes in welfare may put at greater risk those belonging to the poorest social strata.

Keywords: meals; milk; school children; surveillance; welfare policy

Chapter.  2260 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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