School lunches

EIT’s Nourishing Hawke’s Bay research team has made some alarming findings about children’s nutrition and health.

In collaboration with University of Auckland researchers, the team visited 43 schools in the region and surveyed almost 2300 students in Year 5 (primary) and Year 9 (secondary) about their wellbeing, physical activity, sleep, screen use, food behaviours, and measuring body size. 

Food insufficiency, that is, children saying they were ‘hungry because there was not enough food at home’ or that ‘the food at home ran out and they had to wait before buying more’ was self-reported by 30 per cent of primary students in the schools in the least advantaged communities (low decile schools). “But, even kids in more advantaged school communities are falling through the cracks and going hungry,” says Project Manager Pippa McKelvie-Sebileau.

This graphic highlights some key findings.

More results here include data on sleep, weight, activities, screen use.

The Nourishing Hawke’s Bay team is working with schools to help provide the best food systems possible for each school, assisting with networks of cooks and suppliers, provision of menu and set-up of school kitchens with Wharariki Trust.

The NHB project is establishing some critical benchmarks against which future progress must monitored. 


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