Meals within school and healthcare are something that all Swedes encounter to a greater or lesser degree. How these mealtimes should be organized, in order to make them nutritionally, healthfully, economically, and environmentally sustainable is of great importance for the individual and society as a whole.
The project ProMeal (Prospects for Promoting Health and Performance by School Meals in Nordic Countries) is an interdisciplinary Nordic project involving Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. The main goal is to study the importance of school meals regarding the general effect of diet on health, as well as learning and performance in school. Food consumption in schools was studied through photographs of school lunches and a food frequency questionnaire that shows food choices at home. The effect of a school lunch on behaviour and the ability to concentrate later in the school day was studied through observations and computer tests. Children's personal experience of school lunches was studied through focus group interviews and empathy based stories.
In an earlier project The Gävle Project; a part of the larger project "Creative Procurement "X" - Mealtimes for the Aging", studied how older peoples' energy and nutritional intake, as well as weight, was affected by a change from the existing food distribution system to a system where caregivers prepare food for supper in a care unit for the aging.
In the Food and Nutrition/Catering Management e Program, meals in school, healthcare facilities, and care facilities play a central role. Even in the Dietetics Program, these mealtime situations are the object of study. The opportunity for deeper study in these areas is given in all courses where a student thesis is written.