Dietary assessment of the ‘sweet enough program’ for primary school students in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Rakchanok Noochpoung, Shyamkumar Sriram


Background: Since 2007, Chiang Mai Public Health Office has conducted a campaign called “Chiang Mai On Wan” to decrease sugar consumption. The aim of this study was to evaluate the dietary patterns of students in schools participating in the program.

Methods: The cross-sectional data were obtained from primary school children during November 2010 to February 2011. A total of 240 children were selected from Prathom 5 students (US Grade 5) in 12 schools. Sweet Enough Program (SEP) schools are those which implement public nutrition policies and supportive environments according to the Ottawa Charter, including no candy, no high-risk decay food or drink, and campaigns to reduce sugar consumption. Dietary patterns were collected using 7-day meal books in which each student recorded individual consumption.

Results: Students in the SEP were found to have a much lower sugar intake than those in non-SEP schools. All students consumed candy, jelly and sweet snacks but the percentages of candy, jelly, and sweet snacks for SEP students were 1.7%, 3.4%, and 11.8%, respectively, while non-SEP students’ percentages were 26.4%, 11.6%, and 37.2%, respectively. There were significant differences between program school students and non-program school students with regards to candy (p<0.001), jelly (p=0.043), sweet crackers (p<0.001), biscuit (p<0.001), and chips (p<0.001).

Conclusions: The success of this program is highlighted by the nutritional changes among the students. This was achieved by creating public health policies and supportive environments, as set out in the Ottawa Charter strategy.


Dietary assessment, Sweet enough program, Primary school student

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