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.
- health behaviour
- public health
- child health
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Contributors ALG: study design, data entry and quality control, analysis, interpretation of results, writing and editing, and supervision. NA: data entry and cleaning, telephone interviews and data analysis. EH: management of programme and coordination of evaluation, writing and editing. AP: writing and editing. AG-D: study design, writing and editing, programme supervision and management.
Funding The cooking programme was supported by National Health Service Greater Glasgow and Clyde Public Health. NA was funded by the Indonesian Government.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The before-and-after component was a service improvement evaluation and did not require ethics approval, while the follow-up study was conducted after the intervention and ethical approval was obtained from the Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences Ethics Committee at Glasgow University (200140157). All procedures involving human subjects were conducted in accordance with the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki. Consent for participants to be contacted again was sought at the beginning of the service evaluation, and only those who agreed and provided a telephone number were contacted by telephone for a follow-up interview
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement All raw data underpinning this research is available at University's of Glasgow's data repository: http://dx.doi.org/10.5525/gla.researchdata.894
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.