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Nutrition-related health promotion through an after-school project: The responses of children and their families

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Robert Hyland, Professor Ashley AdamsonORCiD, Professor Paula Moynihan


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UK health policy is concerned with emphasising nutritional status as a factor in the relationship of social inequalities to health outcomes. This paper examines pupil and parent responses to an after-school 'Food Club' designed to promote food preparation skills and healthier food choices amongst 12-13 year olds in low-income areas in North East England. The rationale for the intervention was a series of distinct but connected premises: food preparation skills are essential to inexpensive healthier eating; practical cooking skills are given limited emphasis in the secondary school curriculum; children have some choice over what they eat and may serve as a conduit of influence within the family. The qualitative investigation used group discussions and individual interviews with participating pupils and their parents. Most participating pupils enjoyed the practical emphasis upon food preparation, believed their skills developed, and were aware of the underlying message about healthier eating, but only made limited changes to their diet. Interviews with parents showed most to be positive about their child's involvement in such a club, though they varied in their attitude to its underlying message. There was some evidence of children being more involved in cooking at home and making some specific requests about food, but little to suggest they were influencing family food consumption. The findings suggest that an extra-curricular Food Club is an appropriate and feasible approach to developing food preparation skills with pupils in this age group. These findings raise questions about children's opportunities to exercise food preparation skills and make food choices within families, and the extent to which barriers to dietary change may be lowered through educational initiatives directed at pupils. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hyland R, Stacy R, Adamson A, Moynihan P

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Patient Organisation Movements

Year of Conference: 2006

Pages: 758-768

ISSN: 0277-9536

Publisher: Social Science and Medicine, Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.06.032

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 18735347