School lunch box policy research

(22 Posts)
millward930 Tue 23-Feb-16 20:18:23

Hello, my name is Ellie Millward and I am a final year student at Harper Adams University, studying BSc (Hons) Food Nutrition and Well-being.

For my Honours Research Project I have chosen to the research the impact of parental awareness, school policies and education on the contents of a packed lunch box.

If you are responsible for a child aged 11-18 within the UK, I would be extremely grateful if you could fill out the following questionnaire:

harper-adams.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/school-meals-in-secondary-schools

It will take approximately 5-10 minutes.

All responses are kept anonymous and confidential.

Thank you.

StepAwayFromTheThesaurus Tue 23-Feb-16 20:25:07

I have been trying to fill this in, but I've given up in the nutritional awareness section. You are assuming that people will either understand and follow guidelines like Change4Life or that they will not (fully) follow them because they don't understand them or haven't heard of them.

It is perfectly possible that many of us fully understand what all of these initiatives are telling us to do but think they're a load of nonsense (because they're at best overly simplistic and at worst downright often wrong). There's no option for that.

TantrumsAndBalloons Tue 23-Feb-16 20:31:34

I was going to say the exact same thing.
I fully understand the concepts, I don't follow the "guidelines" as I believe they are nonsense.

When it got to that point, and the only reason I could give for not following the guidelines was that I didn't understand it I'm afraid o gave up

millward930 Tue 23-Feb-16 20:34:53

Hello,
Thank you very much for your feedback. I have amended this and added an "I fully understand the concepts, I don't follow the "guidelines" option.
Thank you smile

Spandexpants007 Tue 23-Feb-16 20:37:39

Please could you post a link. You need to put [[ on one end. ]] on other

millward930 Tue 23-Feb-16 20:39:35

harper-adams.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/school-meals-in-secondary-schools

StepAwayFromTheThesaurus Tue 23-Feb-16 20:49:50

I still give up.

Parts of it are like a test. I don't care how many cubes of sugar are in a tin of soup (and surely it depends what brand anyway). There's a page that feels like you're checking so you can argue that people are too thick to read and understand labels.

And I don't agree that there is a correct portion size for types of foods. It depends on what you're actually eating.

There is considerable danger in policies that encourage people to assess their food intake on an obsessional micro-level, but which totally misses the fact that it's a diet as a whole that matters.

Also your age categories overlap.

Sorry to be so grumpy, but the questions have actually annoyed me.

millward930 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:01:55

Thank you for your feedback. It is not a right or wrong answer survey, it is a survey to establish the general publics knowledge surrounding their child's food options, in no way is this a test.
Please do not feel obliged to complete it, it is optional and is merely to help someone in their final year of university smile

Spandexpants007 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:11:16

I've completed it. I must pass comment on the food mentioned ion the survey. We make our own soups, pizzas and curries so would have no knowledge of how much sugar is in shop bought items.

Also the change for life recommendations are rather ropey.

The reason I give my boys packed lunches are because the school meals are very poor. White wheat is often the main ingredient (cheap option), there's not enough fresh veg and the meat and fish is overly processed.

millward930 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:19:20

Thank you very much, your feedback is greatly appreciated and I will ensure to discuss this in my dissertation smile

StepAwayFromTheThesaurus Tue 23-Feb-16 21:20:22

I know, and I'm aware that I'm being quite grumpy. But I would have said the same things if you were my dissertation student, showing me a survey you wanted to put online. Not least because ideally you want people to finish your questionnaire and not get into a huff and give up.

There are right answers. The page that feels like something from a GCSE food technology exam, has right and wrong answers. You might not realise it, but it is a test to see if people can work out what percentage of their daily calorie allowance a portion of ice cream would be, and how much ice cream contains 60g of carbs. It can't really be anything else.

dragonfly123 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:34:29

Completed for you, just to add that every day there is dessert offered with the school meal in the form of cake/cookies or something else sweet (fruit and yogurt also available but Its very rare for my DC to take this option when sticky toffee pudding and chocolate custard are on offer) yet the packed lunch policy states no cake/chocolate bars ect.. This has always grated on me and from seeing previous discussions on mums net I am not alone. Good luck with your dissertation xx

millward930 Tue 23-Feb-16 21:36:51

Thank you very much, that's great information that I will use in my discussion smile

FishWithABicycle Tue 23-Feb-16 22:01:08

Isn't it a bit lazy of you to use the exact same examples for your "cubes of sugar" question as are in this BBC article - if I was your tutor I would mark you down for that unless your disertation cites it as a source and justifies the plagary (you might get away with it if you can explain it as wanting to see how much impact this article had). However as a previous poster said it depends completely on the brand (your source article uses the key words "up to" strategically) so it's not a well structured question - and "I have no need to know, this isn't something we eat ever" needs to be one of the options anyway.

millward930 Wed 24-Feb-16 09:58:21

Hello, it is perfectly a acceptable and recognised method, to use secondary research to help advance your primary research. The dissertation does of course source, cite and discuss the article (there is no need to source/cite in a survey, hence why I have no done this). My tutor was perfectly happy for me to use this information to further my research smile
The question is not about whether you need to know, it is to establish whether parents are aware of hidden sugars in every day products and whether there are actions that could be taken to help improve the health of the nations children.
Thank you for your feedback.

chunkymum1 Wed 24-Feb-16 10:16:18

The 'what's in your child's lunch box' section does not seem to recognise that vegetarian children exist and/or that they don't just eat dairy produce. There is no option for pulses/vegetarian meat free alternatives etc.

Also in analysing your data you should be aware that some people who have no idea how many cubes of sugar in processed foods are not unaware because of lack of understanding but because they do not use processed foods (think someone else mentioned this, but there are quite a few of us around).

I also second what others say about portion sizes- surely correct portions depend on lots of factors including the size of the person (eg adults need more than kids) and how active they are.

Not meaning to complain as I know this is just part of your degree but I think these issues are relevant to your research.

teachermum1900 Wed 24-Feb-16 10:17:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

deepdarkwood Wed 24-Feb-16 10:20:40

I can see you've added in an option at the end of the government policies to tick to say you understand them and ignore them. Which is great - but only works if that applies to ALL the policies/guidelines. Some I understand and ignore, others I apply, so I don't think my responses will be accurate there.

I'm afraid I do agree that it feels like a test - partly of mathmatical abilities and partly of your knowledge. An introductory sentence that stresses this is about testing how well gvmt policies and initiative are cutting through might help...? (I work in market research...)

Sorry - posting on mn does tend to bring out the critique in us all!

deepdarkwood Wed 24-Feb-16 10:23:24

I've also noticed teachermum1900 has only ever posted on your (two) links ... what a strange coincidence wink

Good luck with your dissertation!

chantico Wed 24-Feb-16 10:40:11

I'm afraid I gave up too.

The questions about amount of sugar in foods I do not routinely eat was off putting enough.

But the basic maths test on the label page became irritating.

And then the portion size was just too much. I don't work naturally in grams, and the comparison sizes of items weren't remotely helpful. And the appropriate amount for me, my teens and my preteen would vary anyhow.

Spandexpants007 Wed 24-Feb-16 14:31:53

School puddings are an issue for me too. They are nearly always white wheat based items offered alongside second rate yogurts (sugar added).

Spandexpants007 Wed 24-Feb-16 14:32:57

There is very little wholegrain and alternative grains are rarely used.

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