Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 60

P06-039 - Dietary intakes among primary school recipients and non-recipients of the National Schools Dietary Services Limited (NSDSL) School Lunch Programme in Trinidad.

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM


Objectives: In this study we compared the dietary intakes among primary school recipients and non-recipients of the NSDSL School Lunch Programme.


Methods: A case-control study design was used. Cases consisted of randomly selected of children who were regular recipients of government sponsored lunch meals while controls were non-recipient classmates. All children selected were give a parental questionnaire and consent forms for their parents to complete and return to the Principal of the relevant school. Where consent was given, the index student was enrolled in the study after assenting to participation. Face-to-face interviews were conducted in a quiet room at the school and witnessed by one member of the school staff. Participants were question on their intakes of a variety of foods consumed using a validated instrument. Food models and standard measures of servings were used to assist participants in quantifying their intakes. Participants completed a questionnaire consisting of socio-demographic, attitude and perceptions towards school feeding and perception of the nutritional status. The study was approved by the Ministry of Education, Trinidad and Tobago.

Results. Three Hundred and Twenty-four (recipients = 159; non-recipients = 165) participated in the study. Statistically there were no differences in age, religious affiliation, ethnicity and BMI between both groups. Compared to non-recipients, a higher proportion of the NSDSL meal recipients were more likely to meet adequacy levels peas and beans (60.4 vs. 50.3%; p=0.013) and Vegetables (85.1 vs. 76.4%; p=0.048). Mean staple intake was significantly higher in recipients compared to no recipients (13.5 ± 5.7 vs. 12.2 ± 4.4; p=0.027). There were no significant differences in the consumption of fruits, foods from animals and pre -packaged snacks and ready-to-eat meals that were high in fat. Approximately 70% of participants consumed 1 ≥ sweetened beverages per day. On average, participants consumed approximately seven pre-packaged snacks per day.

Conclusion. Compared to their non-recipient counterparts, a higher proportion of NSDSL lunch recipients met adequacy of uptakes for vegetables and peas and beans. This programme can serve as a vehicle for fostering increased consumption of unrefined plant based foods in this population.




Funding Source: None

CoAuthors: Selby Nichols – The University of The West Indies

Marlon Francis

PhD Candidate
The University of the West Indies, St Augustine.
Arima, Arima, Trinidad and Tobago