HAL will be down for maintenance from Friday, June 10 at 4pm through Monday, June 13 at 9am. More information
Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Nutritional Quality of School Meals in France: Impact of Guidelines and the Role of Protein Dishes

Abstract : In France, school meals must comply with 15 frequency criteria (FC) expressed as nutritional requirements (e.g., starters containing more than 15% fat served no more than four times out of 20) in a series of 20 consecutive meals. The objective was to assess, for the first time, the nutritional impact of complying with French school food FC. Based on 40 series of meals actually served in primary schools (observed series), several scenarios (1600 series per scenario) of compliance or non-compliance with FC were simulated, and nutritional quality was assessed via the mean adequacy ratio (MAR/2000 kcal). In the observed series, only 9.7 FC on average (range 4-14) were fulfilled. In the simulated series: (i) MAR was positively associated with FC compliance level, with the highest MAR obtained with complete compliance; (ii) MAR decreased when meat or fish-based dishes were replaced by dishes without meat or fish; and (iii) removing the protein dish without replacement led to the lowest MAR. This study demonstrates that French school food guidelines ensure good nutritional quality of food services. It also shows that generalizing the service of meals without meat or fish would deteriorate overall nutritional quality, highlighting the need to define the composition of vegetarian dishes and their frequency of service to children.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [52 references]  Display  Hide  Download

Contributor : Annick Prémilleux Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 12:06:33 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - 12:08:18 PM


Files produced by the author(s)


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License



Florent Vieux, Christophe Dubois, Christelle Duchene, Nicole Darmon. Nutritional Quality of School Meals in France: Impact of Guidelines and the Role of Protein Dishes. Nutrients, MDPI, 2018, 10 (2), pp.1-19. ⟨10.3390/nu10020205⟩. ⟨hal-02091400⟩



Record views


Files downloads