Integration af Sundhedsfremme, Læring og Bæredygtig Udvikling i skole foodscapes - LOMA case studie.

Publikation: Ph.d. afhandling/ kandidat/ diplomPh.d. afhandlingForskningpeer review

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Improving children and young peoples’ health is a significant societal challenge in both developed and developing countries. Childhood obesity has risen during the last 10 years and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Moreover, obese children tend to be more isolated and have a lower self-esteem than their peers. Contemporary challenges in the domain of public health include the improvement of dietary patterns that are founded in early childhood. Studies have shown that eating behaviour tends to track into adulthood and early prevention is therefore important. Schools and school food systems are considered as well-suited ‘settings’ for interventions that aim at counteracting unhealthy eating habits. Studies indicate that for a health promoting intervention to be effective, a whole school approach to healthy eating should be integrated with educational activities at school.
This focus on the school environment has a settings-based point of departure compared to more individualised approaches. Apart from health promotion, some schools also integrate the dimension of sustainable public food procurement in the school meal system. Nymarkskolen in Svendborg is an example of a school that chose an innovative, integrated system and implemented the LOMA-Local Food programme. The development and implementation of the LOMA program, that is also called the LOMA foodscape - served as a unique case for this research. The aim of this dissertation is to investigate and answer the following research questions:

“How did the LOMA school foodscape influence students’ development of food- and health related action competence (HRAC) and healthier eating habits? “
“How did the LOMA school foodscape influence the development of methods that led to sustainable, local, public food sourcing practices (SPFS)?”

Research was conducted as a single-case study based on primarily qualitative methods. Data was collected through interviews, observations, video-footage and interviews with students, teachers and other key-persons. Data has been collected during the imagined, the exploratory and the implemented stages. For complimentary use, a quasi-experimental intervention study of a two-week intervention among 9th grade students was conducted based on quantitative methods (LOMA-13). This intervention study was embedded in the total case study of the LOMA school foodscape in order to get a broader picture of the effects. Results showed that students’ development of components in food and HRAC and healthier eating habits was influenced in a positive way through participation in LOMA educational activities.
Various forms of student participation led to increased development of components of food and HRAC, such as knowledge (about vegetables and food production), insight, motivation, ownership, cooperation and critical thinking about food and health. In this research, components of HRAC were regarded as basic building blocks in a healthy life and a democratic citizenship. There were indications, that the implementation of the LOMA school foodscape resulted in healthier eating habits among students, mainly due to the introduction of a shared meal for all students and their respective teachers each day in the week.

Results indicated that students experienced ‘sense of coherence’ when they participated in LOMA activities, especially when they were cooking school food for peers together with professionals. There were some indications that the shared meal as a socio-cultural mechanism reduced purchases of unhealthy food in the supermarket during break. There were also negative effects of the implementation that to some students were too demanding. Results indicated that students did have knowledge about factors for living a healthy life style, but found it difficult to act upon their knowledge. Furthermore, students seemed to have low expectations towards own ability to change current and future life style in a healthier direction. In general students seemed to have an ambigious relation to food and health, which was closely related to their ongoing processes of self-orientation.

In addition to these findings, results indicated that the LOMA school foodscape influenced the local development of sustainable public food sourcing (SPFS) practices in a positive way through the municipal contracts that facilitated food sourcing from local farmers and suppliers. A preliminary record for the first half-year of 2014 shows app. 50% organic and app. 40% local food of the total LOMA purchases. The establishment of a production kitchen at the school, as an output, facilitated the use of fresh produce from local producers and a limited use of processed food. The intermediate outcome of these processes was a contribution to re-localisation of food chains, shortening of food chains and an increased understanding among participants of how school food can contribute to sustainable development. This was mirrored in an increasing acknowledgement among teachers of the cross-curricular learning potential in the LOMA foodscape and how this could contribute to the implementation of the 2014 Danish School Reform.

Based on the presented results, the LOMA school foodscape seemed to have led to positive immediate outcomes. Both with regard to students’ development of food and health-related action competence and the local development of sustainable, public food sourcing strategies. The results may not come as a surprise compared to similar school food studies. However, the news value of this study is related to the fact that LOMA, based on the 7 principles, takes place in a Danish context, where food at school in general is regarded as a ‘private’ issue and where placeless, public food is mostly delivered to institutions by large wholesalers. The LOMA school food approach is an example of the multiple benefits that an integrated school food system can bring. Internal validity is strong for this case, but external validity should be further investigated in future research. Regarded as a public health intervention the implementation of LOMA benefit from the fact that it was made permanent. Therefore, a subsequent follow-up study is recommended in order to measure both long-term outcomes.

Bidragets oversatte titelIntegration af Sundhedsfremme, Læring og Bæredygtig Udvikling i skole foodscapes - LOMA case studie.
StatusUdgivet - 19 jun. 2015


  • praksisfællesskab
  • forebyggelse
  • integration