School food environments and policies can play a pivotal role in inculcating healthy food habits among young people. This cross-sectional survey explored teachers’ and parents’ views of the role of school food environments and policies in promoting healthy food consumption among Indian adolescents. Thirty-two teachers and 280 parents from five private, English-speaking, secondary schools in Kolkata, India took part in a short questionnaire survey which included closed and open answer questions. Descriptive and chi-square analyses were performed to compare the responses of parents and teachers. Thematic data analysis underpinned by Template Analysis Technique was employed to examine the qualitative responses. The easy availability and accessibility of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods, the limited availability of nutritious foods, the absence of written food policies, and inflated prices of nutritious foods were reported as problems in the Indian school food environment. However, the respondents also noted that schools restricted the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages and adopted hygienic food practices. Novel ideas for creating healthy school food environments and effective school canteen policies were also captured during the survey. These findings point to the need to create effective school food policies in Indian secondary schools to help adolescents eat healthily at school. Future research is required to test the feasibility of the implementation of school food policies.
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