Assessment of the obesogenic environment in primary schools: a multi-site case study in Jakarta

Levina Chandra Khoe, Indah Suci Widyahening, Syougie Ali, Helda Khusun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Childhood overweight and obesity have increasingly been recognized as a significant global public health crisis, including in Asia. This study aimed to assess the obesogenic environment in primary schools in Jakarta, Indonesia. Methods: A qualitative, multi-site, case study design was used to capture different elements of the school environment and policies related to obesity, with a focus on nutrition and physical activity. An adaptation of the Primary School Environmental Assessment tool was used. Six primary schools in Jakarta were purposively selected based on their location, socioeconomic status, and type (public or private). In addition to direct observation at each school, interviews were conducted with the principal, physical education teacher, canteen staff, street food vendors, and students. Results: Among the six schools, two were private and four were public. The most popular foods consumed by students were unhealthy, such as deep-fried foods and sugar-sweetened beverages. Students had easy and constant access to unhealthy foods, whereas only limited variation of healthy foods were available in the school canteen. Some schools also allowed the student to have access to street food vendors. School policies related to healthy eating and physical activities had been implemented, mainly in the form of teaching these topics as part of the school curriculum. However, promotion of healthy eating and physical activities by the schools was still limited. Conclusions: This study showed the usefulness of the Primary School Environmental Assessment tool in identifying obesogenic factors in urban area of Indonesia. Effective implementation of guidelines to foster good nutritional practices and healthy lifestyles at school should be prioritized to improve the health and nutritional status of the students.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalBMC Nutrition
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Children
  • Nutrition environment
  • Obesity
  • School

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