School meal uptake

Schools are regarded as a key setting in which to provide and promote healthy foods and drinks and to encourage healthy eating habits amongst pupils. During the last decade, a number of measures have been introduced by the Scottish Government through policies and legislation which have improved the nutritional quality of school food provided by local authorities.

Changes to school food policy and practice have been well received by pupils and parents in primary schools. However, secondary school pupils have been less positive regarding menu changes in secondary school canteens and the cessation of sale of sugared drinks, crisps and other snacks on school premises has been unpopular. 

The subsection pages illustrate trends in school meal uptake in Primary and Secondary schools the four largest Scottish cities and across the Glasgow and Clyde Valley region.  In contrast to primary school meal uptake which has remained stable, secondary school meal uptake has been decreasing. 

There are other related reports under GCPH’s Food in Schools programme, including an evaluation of the pilot Big Eat In initiative.