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Nutritional quality of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes at school: are nutrient profiling systems sufficiently informative?

Abstract : In France, school canteens must offer a vegetarian meal at least once per week. The objective was to evaluate the nutritional quality of school main dishes. A database of main dishes served in primary schools was first split into non-vegetarian (n = 669) and vegetarian (n = 315) categories. The latter has been divided into three sub-categories: vegetarian dishes containing cheese, vegetarian dishes containing eggs and/or dairy products but no cheese and vegetarian dishes without any eggs, cheese or other dairy products (vegan). Categories and sub-categories were compared based on nutrient adequacy ratios for "protective" nutrients (proteins, fibres, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids), the contents of nutrients to be limited (saturated fatty acids (SFA), sodium, free sugars) and on two nutrient profiling systems (SAIN,LIM and Nutri-Score). The vegetarian category and the non-vegetarian category displayed "adequate" levels (≥5% adequacy for 100 kcal) on average for almost all "protective" nutrients. The three sub-categories of vegetarian dishes displayed good SAIN,LIM and Nutri-Score profiles on average, although key nutrients were lacking (vitamin B12, vitamin D and DHA) or were present in insufficient amounts (vitamin B2 and calcium) in the vegan sub-category. The sub-category containing eggs and/or dairy products other than cheese was a good compromise, as it provided protective nutrients associated with eggs and fresh dairy products, while the sub-category containing cheese provided higher levels of SFA. Nutrient profile algorithms are insufficiently informative to assess the nutritional quality of school dishes.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02918931
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Submitted on : Friday, August 21, 2020 - 12:10:03 PM
Last modification on : Monday, February 1, 2021 - 2:04:41 PM

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Romane Poinsot, Florent Vieux, Christophe Dubois, Marlène Perignon, Caroline Méjean, et al.. Nutritional quality of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes at school: are nutrient profiling systems sufficiently informative?. Nutrients, MDPI, 2020, 12 (8), pp.2256. ⟨10.3390/nu12082256⟩. ⟨hal-02918931⟩

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