The included reviews provided an nutrition analysis of a wide range of school-based interventions. There
was a high level of heterogeneity in relation to the school-level exposures, nutrition the impact on children
and the outcome measures. Due to the differences in study aims, methods and measures, meta analysis was not appropriate and the findings are summarized in a narrative way.
Nutrition during childhood and adolescence is key to ensuring optimal growth, health and wellbeing during childhood and beyond . Healthy dietary practices and the foundation for good nutrition are initiated in early life stages, with an immediate impact on healthy growth during this period characterized by rapid growth spurts. They also have long-term health impact, such as the prevention of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) later in life, as well as inter-generational impact through ensuring optimal nutrition status of mothers, particularly those who are adolescent girls . Moreover, a child who has good health and nutrition performs better in school , and a good education provides a child with a foundation for the future, which in turn impacts on nations’ economic and social development . While the focus of the critical period to ensure good nutrition typically has been on the first 1000 days — from conception to a child’s second birthday — there is
now growing recognition of the importance of the subsequent 7 000 days, which includes critical childhood and adolescent periods up to the age of 21, to reach their full development potential.
Parental involvement was identified as a moderating factor leading to better results (e.g. on body mass
index (BMI) or other weightrelated, biochemical or dietary outcomes) with a greater impact for a higher level of parental involvement
This review of reviews provides an extensive summary of the evidence for the effectiveness of many components of the NFSI framework. The findings may be used — in conjunction with existing UN and WHO guidance and tools — to inform the work of governments, policymakers and researchers concerned with school based health and nutrition promotion programmes and initiatives.
Member States are encouraged to draw on this evidence base and to use the NFSI framework
to build school nutrition-related policies and programmes appropriate to their particular country schooling system and nutrition situation. In doing so, they can fully realize the potential of schools as a key setting for improving nutrition throughout childhood and adolescence, while laying good foundations for health and wellbeing later in life.
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