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Article

Successful Implementation of Climate-Friendly, Nutritious, and Acceptable School Meals in Practice: The OPTIMAT Intervention Study

1
Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institutet, Solnavaegen 1E, 113 65 Stockholm, Sweden
2
Department of Health-Related Behaviours, Centre for Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Region Stockholm, Solnavaegen 1E, 113 65 Stockholm, Sweden
3
Department of Risk and Benefit Assessment, The Swedish Food Agency, Box 622, SE-75126 Uppsala, Sweden
4
Global Nutrition and Health, University College Copenhagen, Sigurdsgade 26, 2200 Copenhagen, Denmark
5
Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, PO Box 428, Gothenburg University, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8475; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208475
Received: 1 September 2020 / Revised: 5 October 2020 / Accepted: 11 October 2020 / Published: 14 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability on Environmental Health and Well-Being)
Introducing children to sustainable and healthy school meals can promote a long-term dietary shift to lower climate impact and improve population health. The aim of the OPTIMAT study was to optimize meals for minimum deviation from the current food supply while reducing greenhouse gases and ensuring nutritional adequacy without increasing cost. Optimized menus were tested in four primary schools in Sweden and effects on daily food consumption and waste evaluated. Pupils received their usual menu plan for three weeks and then the isocaloric optimized menu plan for another three weeks. Nutritional recommendations for a school lunch and a maximum of 500 g of carbon dioxide equivalents per meal (CO2 eq/meal) were applied as constraints during linear programming. Pulses, cereals, meat, and eggs increased, while fats and oils, dairy, sauces, and seasonings decreased. The amount of ruminant meat was reduced in favor of other meat products. The new menu was 28% lower in greenhouse gas emissions and slightly less costly than the original. No significant changes in mean food consumption or plate waste were found in interrupted time series analysis between the two periods. This pragmatic approach for combining linear optimization with meal planning could accelerate sustainable development of the meal sector in Sweden and abroad. View Full-Text
Keywords: children; diet; greenhouse gas emissions; intervention; linear programming; optimization; sustainable development children; diet; greenhouse gas emissions; intervention; linear programming; optimization; sustainable development
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MDPI and ACS Style

Elinder, L.S.; Eustachio Colombo, P.; Patterson, E.; Parlesak, A.; Lindroos, A.K. Successful Implementation of Climate-Friendly, Nutritious, and Acceptable School Meals in Practice: The OPTIMAT Intervention Study. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8475. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208475

AMA Style

Elinder LS, Eustachio Colombo P, Patterson E, Parlesak A, Lindroos AK. Successful Implementation of Climate-Friendly, Nutritious, and Acceptable School Meals in Practice: The OPTIMAT Intervention Study. Sustainability. 2020; 12(20):8475. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208475

Chicago/Turabian Style

Elinder, Liselotte S., Patricia Eustachio Colombo, Emma Patterson, Alexandr Parlesak, and Anna K. Lindroos 2020. "Successful Implementation of Climate-Friendly, Nutritious, and Acceptable School Meals in Practice: The OPTIMAT Intervention Study" Sustainability 12, no. 20: 8475. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208475

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