The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact of delivering healthy eating messages through an interactive health corner (HC) on improving healthy dietary habits in participants.
Self-administered questionnaires were administered to participants after the education session. In total, 5,292 valid questionnaires were obtained, yielding a response rate of 93.3 per cent. In the last three months of the pilot study, a random sample of 305 from 1,493 participants was chosen and followed up six months later. Bivariate analysis was used to study the association of knowledge gained and attitude. Behavioural change was measured in terms of whether participants had reported an increase in their consumption of healthier food.
Majority (>98 per cent) of participants reported that the HC corner was useful, and had helped increase their awareness and knowledge of creating healthier meals and making healthier food choices. 95.7 per cent were willing to make changes after visiting the HC. At six months follow-up, 84 per cent of the participants reported positive changes in their dietary habits. Those who made positive changes were younger (mean age: 58.0 years) compared with those who did not (mean age 61.0 years, p=0.035).
Incorporating cooking demonstrations as part of nutrition education is effective in inculcating healthy eating practices and changing self-reported eating habits in the short term. Further research is needed to verify actual change in eating habits and to determine if this change is sustainable in the long run.
Currently, no similar initiative has been implemented and studied to evaluate the effectiveness of this mode of health promotion in a primary care setting. This study will help the authors to evaluate if the intervention was effective in changing attitudes and behaviours after an education session at the HC.
This programme was supported in part by the Health Promoting Health Services Grant Award from the Health Promotion Board, Singapore. The authors would like to acknowledge with gratitude, the contributions of the Health Promotion and Preventive Care team led by Dr Wee Wei Keong, National Healthcare Group Polyclinics. Special thanks to health promoters, Ng Chiew Leng and Rachel Lim, and health promotion consultants, Ng Jia Jia and Soh Ying Hua, for conducting the cooking and food tasting sessions, as well as Bukit Batok Polyclinic and Dr Keith Tsou (clinic head) for supporting the GST corner. The authors also thank Dr Donna Tan and Pauline Xie for their support throughout this programme. The authors would also like to thank Sim Yu Fan and Jiang Yilin for assisting with data analysis.
Goh, L.M.L., Wong, A.X.Y., Ang, G.Y. and Tan, A.S.L. (2017), "Effectiveness of nutrition education accompanied by cooking demonstration", British Food Journal, Vol. 119 No. 5, pp. 1052-1066. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-10-2016-0464
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