Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Public health action
Title Primary school compliance with school canteen guidelines in Fiji and its association with student obesity
Volume 3
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 81
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4463082/

Childhood obesity is of growing public health concern in Fiji. The study setting was primary schools in Fiji’s Western Division.


1) To assess primary schools’ compliance with national school canteen guidelines, 2) to understand reasons for non-compliance, and 3) to assess the relationship between compliance with the guidelines and students’ body mass index (BMI).


Cross-sectional analysis of data collected in 2010 by public health dieticians of the Ministry of Health on annual visits to primary schools.


Among 230 schools, 33 (14%) had no canteen data. Of the 197 schools with data, only 31 (16%) were fully compliant with national school canteen guidelines, while the remaining 166 (84%) did not fully comply with the guidelines. This was irrespective of school location or whether the canteen was school or commercially operated. In a random sample (n = 44 schools), overweight and obesity were more common among children in non-compliant schools than in fully compliant schools (40% vs. 32%, P < 0.001).


Most primary schools in Fiji’s Western Division did not comply with school canteen guidelines, which is worrying given the increasing rates of overweight children. Given the association between non-compliance and student overweight/obesity, further action is needed to ensure that these guidelines are implemented.

Related studies