Free Fruit in Schools Did Not Have an Effect on Obesity Among Children and Youth

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by MedicalXpress.

The scheme providing free fruit to schools lasted from 2007 to 2014 and was mainly introduced to improve learning in school through a better diet. Among other possible positive effects of the scheme was a reduced prevalence of obesity.

The school fruit scheme was a government initiative at all of Norway’s lower secondary and combined primary and lower secondary schools. The initiative consisted of one free fruit or vegetable for each pupil every day.

Between 2010 and 2017, the National Institute of Public Health conducted four different child growth studies in which the height and weight of more than 11,000 children and adolescents were measured. The researchers used the data from these studies to look at how the school fruit scheme affected the children’s weight when they were eight and 13 years old.

“After doing this research, we cannot see that school fruit has any effect on obesity among children and young people,” says Ph.D. Research Fellow Bente Øvrebøat the Department of Sport Science and Physical Education at UiA.

“We find no effect from the school fruit scheme on the pupils’ weight, neither positive nor negative. This shows that there was no basis for claiming that the scheme would lead to a reduction in obesity among young people.”

The findings were recently published in the scientific journal Plos Medicine.

Source: MedicalXpress

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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