Hunter New England Local Health District
In NSW, 21% of school-aged children are overweight/obese. Diet is a key factor in preventing obesity.
School canteens are the most frequently accessed food outlet by primary-aged children. Online lunch ordering systems in school canteens (‘online canteens’), where parents order their child’s lunch online, are rapidly being adopted in NSW schools.
The Online Choices Program involves the addition of behavioural prompts and information into an existing ‘online canteen’ ordering system to support parents and students select healthier food items. 53 Hunter New England (HNE) and NSW schools have registered for the program so far, reaching >25,000 students.
A rigorous RCT evaluation of the Online Choices Program found that it reduced the kilojoule, saturated fat and salt content of lunch orders by 37%, 49% and 41% respectively, and increase the availability of healthy food, helping schools better meet the NSW Healthy School Canteen Guidelines, without adversely affecting canteen revenue.