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Evaluating the effectiveness of a community-based dietary intervention in Nottingham

Jemma Orr (Public Health Nutrition, Nottingham CityCare Partnership, Nottingham, UK) (Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)
Alison McCamley (Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Eatwell for Life (EWL) programme, with a particular focus on longer term effectiveness in terms of dietary behaviour and the wider impact. EWL is a six-week community-based dietary intervention which aims to increase nutritional knowledge, cooking confidence and provide the necessary skills to support behavioural change in relation to eating a balanced diet. There have been many evaluations of community-based dietary interventions, but most focus on brief measures and changes examined at the end of each course.


A mixed method evaluation was conducted using a self-reported questionnaire, focus groups and semi-structured telephone interviews. A follow-up evaluation was conducted at 3, 6 and 12 months with a purposive sample of EWL participants.


A total of 66 participants completed both pre- and post-intervention questionnaires. A total of 22 participants took part in the qualitative follow-up evaluation. The mixed method evaluation demonstrates improvements in participants’ fruit and vegetable consumption and a reduction in participants’ sugar consumption. Qualitative data highlight key themes such as “cooking from basic ingredients”, “knowledge of key healthy eating messages”, “changes in eating, cooking and shopping habits” and “wider influences on family and friends’ diets”.


This paper is useful to public health nutritionists and other practitioners delivering community-based dietary and cooking skills programmes and those commissioning such provision. It contributes to existing evidence of sustained change over time targeting those in areas of high deprivation.



The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this paper.


Orr, J. and McCamley, A. (2017), "Evaluating the effectiveness of a community-based dietary intervention in Nottingham", British Food Journal, Vol. 119 No. 5, pp. 1091-1101.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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