Although childhood obesity is on the rise, the food kids are eating in school has gotten healthier, according to a new B.C. study.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia looked at the diets of Canadian children in 2004 and again in 2015 and noted a 13-per-cent improvement in the quality of food eaten at school.
The study evaluated the foods eaten between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. using the Canadian Healthy Eating Index, a diet quality score.
Children were eating more fruits and vegetables and getting fewer calories from sugar-sweetened drinks and salty packaged snacks. However, the average school-time diet still needed “substantial improvement” as of 2015.
Food insecurity seemed to have a bigger impact in 2015. Children in food-insecure homes had a slightly lower diet quality score compared to those with secure access to food.
Researchers said Canada is the only G7 country without a national school food program, although there is a petition going.
In both 2004 and 2015, younger kids were found to have healthier school-time diets than older kids, and that green and orange vegetables, whole fruit, whole grains, and milk and its alternatives were the most lacking from all of their diets.