Greenhouse gas emissions of school lunches provided for children attending school nurseries: A cross-sectional study

WALL, Claire and PEARCE, Jo (2024). Greenhouse gas emissions of school lunches provided for children attending school nurseries: A cross-sectional study. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

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Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jhn.13...
Open Access URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j... (Published version)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.13345

Abstract

Background to the study: Schools and early years settings provide an opportunity to promote healthy and sustainable food, but standards and guidance in England focus predominantly on nutritional quality. This study estimated greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) of school lunches provided for children attending school nurseries, including comparison between meal options. Methodology: Menus, recipes and portion weights for lunches provided for 3-4-year-old children attending nine school nurseries were collected daily for one week. GHGE for each food and recipe were calculated using Foodprint functionality of Nutritics software. GHGE were calculated for each menu option (main, vegetarian, jacket potato and sandwich) provided in each school, and for meals with and without meat/fish. Results: In total, 161 lunches including 273 foods were analysed. Median GHGE across all meals was 0.53 kgCO2e/portion, with significantly higher GHGE associated with main meals (0.71 kgCO2e/portion) compared to all other meal types (0.43-0.50 kgCO2e/portion; p<0.001) which remained after adjustment for meal size and energy density. Red meat-based meals were highest in GHGE (median 0.98 kgCO2e/portion and 0.34 kgCO2e/100g) and meals containing any meat/fish were significantly higher in GHGE (median 0.58 kgCO2e/portion) than vegetarian meals (median 0.49 kgCO2e/portion) (p=0.014). Meals with higher adherence to the nutrient framework underpinning the early years guidelines had significantly higher GHGE than meals with lower adherence (p<0.001). Principle conclusions: Results were comparable to previous estimates of school lunch GHGE and highlight variation by meal option. Consideration of GHGE alongside the nutritional quality of lunches by caterers could support provision of healthy and sustainable lunches.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology; 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics; Nutrition & Dietetics; 3202 Clinical sciences; 3210 Nutrition and dietetics
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.13345
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2024 11:32
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 15:32
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/33876

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