A community-based cooking programme "Eat Better Feel Better" can improve child and family eating behaviours in low socioeconomic groups

Garcia, A. L. , Athifa, N. S., Hammond, E., Parrett, A. and Gebbie-Diben, A. (2020) A community-based cooking programme "Eat Better Feel Better" can improve child and family eating behaviours in low socioeconomic groups. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 74, pp. 190-196. (doi: 10.1136/jech-2018-211773) (PMID:31727789)

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Background: The immediate and sustained impacts of the Eat Better Feel Better cooking programme (EBFBCP) on food choices and eating behaviours in families and children were evaluated. Methods: The EBFBCP (6 weeks, 2 hours/week) was delivered by community-based organisations in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Scotland. Before, after and at follow-up, parents/caregivers completed short pictorial questionnaires to report family/child eating behaviours and food literacy. Results: In total, 83 EBFBCPs were delivered and 516 participants enrolled, of which 432 were parents and caregivers. Questionnaire completion rates were 57% (n=250) for before and after and 13% (n=58) for follow-up. Most participants (80%) were female, 25–44 years old (51%) and considered socioeconomically deprived (80%). The immediate effects of the EBFBCP on eating behaviours and food literacy were families ate less takeaway/fast foods (10% reduction, p=0.019) and ready meals (15% reduction, p=0.003) and cooked more from scratch (20% increase, p<0.001). Children’s consumption of discretionary food/drinks was significantly reduced after the EBFBCP for sugary drinks (10% reduction, p=0.012), savoury snacks (18%, p=0.012), biscuits (17%, p=0.007), sweets/chocolates (23%, p=0.002), fried/roasted potatoes (17%, p<0.001) and savoury pastries (11%, p<0.001). The number of fruit (15%, p=0.008) and vegetable portions (10%, p<0.001) increased, while the number of biscuit portions decreased (13%, p=0.005). Parental food label reading increased (calories, 22%; fat, 23%; sugar, 22%; ingredients, 19%; and portion size, 19%). Most changes were sustained at a median of 10 months’ follow-up. Conclusion: The EBFBCP improved children’s and families’ food choices and behaviours. The EBFBCP can be recommended to support families to make better food choices.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Garcia, Dr Ada and Parrett, Dr Alison
Authors: Garcia, A. L., Athifa, N. S., Hammond, E., Parrett, A., and Gebbie-Diben, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):1470-2738
Published Online:14 November 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 74:190-196
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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