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Nov 10, 2017

International Diabetes Federation 2017 Congress

School-based cooking programs can help reduce type 2 diabetes risk factors in adolescents

;

Trute, M.;

Harburg, E.;

McIntosh, T.;

Kelly, F.

cooking in schools

students

type 2 diabetes prevention

healthy nutrition

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cooking in schools

students

type 2 diabetes prevention

healthy nutrition

Abstract

School-based cooking programs can help reduce type 2 diabetes risk factors in adolescents. Background Australia’s youth are facing a grim future with one third of Australian adolescents likely to become obese adults resulting in increased risk of type 2 diabetes1,2. Young children are more likely to have a balanced diet consuming the recommended serves of fruit and vegetables and moderate amounts of discretionary foods when compared to adults, however, diet quality declines as children get older and move into adolescence3,4. Cooking skills have been identified as a key factor to influence diet quality however, less than one fifth of Australian young people are confident about cooking and only 14% make an effort to get nutrition basics right at every meal5-8. Evidence demonstrates cooking programs that improve skills, knowledge and confidence around healthy cooking and eating practices can address nutrition related chronic disease risk factors6, 7, 9-14. The Need for Feed high school cooking program was delivered in Queensland high schools, from 2011 to 2015, with the support of the Queensland Government. The program continues to be supported by the Queensland Government, with a modified delivery model, until June 2018. Aims The Need for Feed program aims to improve students’ confidence in the kitchen, increasing their consumption of fruits and vegetables and decreasing their consumption of discretionary foods thus reducing nutrition related type 2 diabetes risk factors. Methods One hundred and thirty five programs were delivered to 2,108 students in grades 7 to 10 in Queensland high schools, outside of school hours, from 2011 to 2015. The modified program has been delivered, since January 2016, to over 420 students through 34 programs. Evaluation methods have remained the same across both program delivery models and measure participant knowledge, behaviours, skills and attitudes toward healthy cooking and eating. These are assessed pre-program, immediately post program and again six months post program. Results The initial program delivery model resulted in increased consumption of fruit by 0.38 serves per day and vegetables by 0.27 serves per day. These results were sustained six-months post-program with 77% of students meeting recommended daily fruit and 21% meeting recommended daily vegetable intakes compared to 63% and 14% pre-program for fruit and vegetables respectively. Consumption of energy dense ‘junk’ foods decreased by 0.21 serves per day. Students also showed improved skills and confidence in preparing and cooking healthy food and improved nutrition knowledge. Preliminary evaluation results, from January 2016 onward, indicate the modified delivery model is yielding similar positive outcomes. Consumption of recommended daily intakes of fruit and vegetables increased from 31% to 36% for fruit and 5% to 16% for vegetables respectively during the program. Consumption of energy dense ‘junk’ foods also decreased by 16.5%. Discussion The Need for Feed program is an initiative that has been successful in improving the cooking and nutrition knowledge, skills and confidence of students and results in real and long lasting improvements to nutrition related type 2 diabetes risk factors. There is a strong argument for continued investment in establishing cooking skills and healthy eating behaviours among this target group as a strategy to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes. 1Haby MM, Markwick A, Peeters A, Shaw J and Vos T. Future predictions of body mass index and overweight prevalence in Australia, 2005–2025. Health Promotion International 2012; 27(2): 250-260. 2Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. Diabetes: the silent pandemic and its impact on Australia. 2012. 3Lytle, L.A., et al., How do children's eating patterns and food choices change over time? Results from a cohort study. Am J Health Promot, 2000. 14(4): p. 222-8. 4ABS, Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12. 2014, Australian Bureau of Statistics: Canberra. 5Caraher, M. and T. Lang, Can't cook, won't cook: A review of cooking skills and their relevance to health promotion. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, 1999. 37(3): p. 89-100. 6Engler-Stringer, R., Food, cooking skills, and health: a literature review. Can J Diet Pract Res, 2010. 71(3): p. 141-5. 7Hartmann C, Dohle S, Siegrist M. Importance of cooking skills for balanced food choices. Appetite 2013; 65(0): 125-131. 8EMMA, EMMA industry report out of home dining. 2014, Enhanced Media Metrics Australia: Sydney. 9Caraher M, Dixon P, Lang T, Carr-Hill R. The state of cooking in England: the relationship of cooking skills to food choice. British Food Journal 1999; 101(8): 590-609. 10Herbert J, Flego A, Gibbs L, Waters E, Swinburn B, Reynolds J and Moodie M. Wider impacts of a 10-week community cooking skills program - Jamie’s Ministry of Food, Australia. BMC Public Health 2014; 14: 1161. 11Wrieden WL, Anderson AS, Longbottom PJ, Valentine K, Stead M, Caraher M, et al. The impact of a community-based food skills intervention on cooking confidence, food preparation methods and dietary choices – an exploratory trial. Public Health Nutrition 2006; 10(2): 203-211. 12Garcia AL, Vargas E, Lam PS, Smith F, Parrett A. Evaluation of a cooking skills programme in parents of young children - a longitudinal study. Public Health Nutrition 2013: 1-9. 13Flynn MM, Reinert S, Schiff AR. A Six-Week Cooking Program of Plant- Based Recipes Improves Food Security, Body Weight, and Food Purchases for Food Pantry Clients. Journal Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 2013; 8(1): 73-84.

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All rights reserved.