In 1987⁄88 a marketing orientated ‘Healthy Eating’ campaign was introduced across all Northumberland schools. Six middle schools (9–13 year olds) also piloted an additional change in school meals policy to a restricted ‘fixed price’ menu. A before and after evaluation of this campaign is described using questionnaires, self-completed by some 700 children aged 11–13 years in 4 middle schools chosen to represent contrasting policies and socio-economic status. There were important favourable changes associated with the campaign both in food ‘aggregates’ (e.g. sugary, fibrous) and also of individual ‘indicator’ foods (e.g. chips, low fat milk) eaten during the previous day. These changes were detected in both cross sectional and longitudinal analyses.