The aims were to find out if schools' sweet-selling was associated with pupils' sweet consumption, and whether the school's guideline about leaving the school area was associated with pupils' tobacco and sweet consumption.
Two independently collected datasets from all Finnish upper secondary schools (N = 988) were linked together. The first dataset on schools' sweet-selling (yes/no) and guideline about leaving school area (yes/no) was collected via school principals in 2007 using an Internet questionnaire with a response rate of 49%, n = 480. The second dataset on pupils' self-reported: weekly school-time (0, never; 1, less than once; 2, 1-2 times; 3, 3-5 times), overall sweet consumption frequencies (1, never; 2, 1-2 times; 3, 3-5 times; 4, 6-7 times) and smoking and snuff-using frequencies (1, never; 2, every now and then; 3 = every day) was collected in 2006-2007 in the School Health Promotion Study from pupils. An average was calculated for the school-level with a response rate 80%, n = 790. The total response rate of the linked final data was 42%, n = 414. Mean values of self-reported sweet and tobacco consumption frequencies between sweet-selling and non-sweet-selling schools and between schools with different guidelines were compared using Mann-Whitney test.
Pupils in sweet-selling schools and in schools without a guideline about leaving the school area, more frequently used sweet products and tobacco products than their peers in other schools.
Schools may need help in building permanent guidelines to stop sweet-selling in school and to prevent leaving the school area to decrease pupils' sweet consumption and smoking.