Evaluation of the effectiveness of a brief practical food based intervention to measure
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Introduction: Evidence shows that consuming a diet with 5 or more portions of FV a-day reduces the risk of developing a NCD. Despite this, intakes in the UK typically do not achieve 5 portions. Studies have suggested that intakes are low due to a poor understanding of the 5 aday message heightened by the fact that populations cannot accurately serve a portion of FV. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief practical food based intervention to measure participants understanding of portion sizes and to increase their confidence to achieve 5 portions of FV a day. Method: The present study uses an experimental pre-test post-test design, in which participants were opportunistically recruited from the researcher’s friends and family. A research led questionnaire was administrated to the participants before and after the practical intervention, in which participants had to measure out a portion of juice, peas, tinned fruit and broccoli. Participants had their estimates compared to the NHS recommended portion sizes. Results: Participants (n=24) were skewed towards young males (18-34 years old). Participants in the 18-64 age group of the present study had an intake lower than the NDNS 19-64 age group (3.6 vs 4.1). Understanding of the 5 a-day message was poor, as the study population overestimated all 4 FV. The intervention increased the study population’s confidence by a rating of 1.15 (p=0.009). Discussion: In conclusion, the study adds to the literature that there is a lack of understanding of portion sizes. The practical intervention successfully increased participant’s confidence, and could potentially be implemented throughout the UK targeted at the young male population.
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