Effective school meal interventions: Lessons learned from Eat Well Do Well in Hull, England

Derek Colquhoun and Jo Pike

in Childhood Obesity Prevention

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199572915
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595110 | DOI:
Effective school meal interventions: Lessons learned from Eat Well Do Well in Hull, England

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It is a truism to suggest that obesity has emerged as one of the most significant issues for public health policy in the last 10 years. Globally, an estimated 1.2 billion people are classified as overweight, of whom 300 million are categorized as obese. In 2004 when Eat Well Do Well was developed and introduced in the UK, around 10% of children aged 6–10 years were classified as obese. In addition, according to the Department of Health (2006) 36.6% of children in Hull were estimated to be living in poverty compared to the national average of 21.3%. This chapter presents a description and evaluation of the lessons learned from the Eat Well Do Well program, which was delivered between 2004 and 2007 by the Kingston-Upon-Hull City Council in England. This was an ambitious, innovative and exciting programme which provided all children (approximately 25,000 school children) in seventy-four primary and special schools access to free school meals which may have included healthy breakfasts, hot lunches/dinners, fruit up to Key Stage 2 (ages 11/12), and after school snack. The evaluation of Eat Well Do Well considered ‘what worked’ from the perspectives of the major stakeholders: the children, parents, caterers and schools. The chapter discusses several characteristic features of the program such as addressing health inequalities, complexity and whole of system change, and developing a spatial imagination. It presents some of the difficulties encountered including the problems associated with school meals as a political project, school meals as a service intervention, and how to relate Eat Well Do Well to other projects in schools.

Keywords: nutrition; education; eating; health promotion; physical activity; school meals; Hull; Eat Well Do Well

Chapter.  4023 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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