|Author:||Ronan, Jeffrey Ralph|
|Title:||Students’ participation in school lunch programs : the case of a Hong Kong international school|
|Subject:||School children -- Food -- China -- Hong Kong|
Children -- Nutrition -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
|Department:||School of Hotel and Tourism Management|
|Pages:||vii, 89 pages : color illustrations|
|Abstract:||With the rise of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes in children and young adults, many countries have adopted nutritional standards for school lunches to combat these negative trends. However, with these new nutritional standards, students have decreased their participation in school offered lunches by seeking alternative or "competitive" choices. These choices have ranged from bringing lunches from home, eating out of vending machines on school grounds, going off-campus, and eating at various restaurants or convenience stores. Numerous studies have been done on this challenge to get students to eat nutritionally in public schools in Europe and the United States. However, very little has been done in Asia. None to the knowledge of the author, of private schools. There are two primary purposes of the current research. First, this study collected information from students and their parents from an international private school in Hong Kong to determine why many of the students are not participating in the school lunch program, and to what extent the influence of friends and parents has on the student to participate or not. Second, this research explored numerous studies on the various strategies, operational challenges, and education of students to increase participation in school lunch programs at public schools. A consultation took place involving the school administrators that were directly responsible for the food being served. The meeting discussed the goal of the study and to approve the questionnaires. Individual surveys were taken online by students in the classroom and the students' parents by going online through the school's newsletters and emails. The surveys were designed to assess opinions and perceptions on the quality of the present school lunch program to help increase the student's participation. The results showed that the three hypotheses were supported; HI, the better the perception of the food quality, based mostly on taste and then variety, increased the likelihood of students eating lunches served, HII, that social influences, their parents and friends, had some effect as to whether their child ate from the school cafeteria, with parents influence having little or no impact, decreasing with the student's age, and HIII, that a willingness to participate in the school lunch program is based on the perceived quality of food and the social influence their parents and friends have on them. From an academic perspective, students in a private school, like public schools and restaurants, are influenced by the taste and variety of the meals being offered and somewhat by their parents and friends as to whether they eat what the schools offer, bring from home, or competitive alternatives. From a business perspective, the school programs need to involve, educate, and convince the parents and students that they have a variety of food that tastes good and is nutritional. By getting the students and parents involved in the lunch program in the early days of education and throughout high school, parents and friends' influence should become a more positive one in which they support the school lunch program and participate in it.|
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