Evaluation of the good start program: a healthy eating and physical activity intervention for Maori and Pacific Islander communities living in Queensland, Australia

Mihrshahi, Seema, Vaughan, Lisa, Fa'avale, Nicola, de Silva Weliange, Shreenika, Manu-Sione, Inez and Schubert, Lisa (2017) Evaluation of the good start program: a healthy eating and physical activity intervention for Maori and Pacific Islander communities living in Queensland, Australia. BMC Public Health, 17 . doi:10.1186/s12889-016-3977-x


Author Mihrshahi, Seema
Vaughan, Lisa
Fa'avale, Nicola
de Silva Weliange, Shreenika
Manu-Sione, Inez
Schubert, Lisa
Title Evaluation of the good start program: a healthy eating and physical activity intervention for Maori and Pacific Islander communities living in Queensland, Australia
Journal name BMC Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2458
Publication date 2017-01-13
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s12889-016-3977-x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 17
Total pages 10
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Reducing the prevalence of obesity and chronic disease are important priorities. Maori and Pacific Islander communities living in Australia have higher rates of obesity and chronic disease than the wider Australian population. This study aims to assess the effectiveness of the Good Start program, which aims to improve knowledge, attitudes and practices related to healthy eating and physical activity amongst Maori and Pacific Islander communities living in Queensland.

Methods: The intervention was delivered to children aged 6-19 years (N = 375) in schools by multicultural health workers. Class activities focused on one message each term related to healthy eating and physical activity using methods such as cooking sessions and cultural dance. The evaluation approach was a quantitative uncontrolled pre-post design. Data were collected each term pre- and post-intervention using a short questionnaire.

Results: There were significant increases in knowledge of correct servings of fruit and vegetables, knowledge of sugar and caffeine content of common sugar-sweetened drinks, recognition of the consequences of marketing and upsizing, and the importance of controlling portion size (all P < 0.05). There was also increases in knowledge of physical activity recommendations (P < 0.001), as well as the importance of physical activity for preventing heart disease (P < 0.001) and improving self-esteem (P < 0.001). In terms of attitudes, there were significant improvements in some attitudes to vegetables (P = 0.02), and sugar-sweetened drinks (P < 0.05). In terms of practices and behaviours, although the reported intake of vegetables increased significantly (P < 0.001), the proportion of children eating discretionary foods regularly did not change significantly, suggesting that modifying the program with an increased emphasis on reducing intake of junk food may be beneficial.

Conclusion: The study has shown that the Good Start Program was effective in engaging children from Maori and Pacific Island backgrounds and in improving knowledge, and some attitudes and practices, related to healthy eating and physical activity. The evaluation contributes valuable information about components and impacts of this type of intervention, and considerations relevant to this population in order to successfully change behaviours and reduce the burden of chronic disease.
Keyword Evaluation
Maori and Pacific Islander
Interventions to reduce obesity
Obesity
Children
Healthy eating
Physical activity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Public Health Publications
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 09 Apr 2017, 14:16:39 EST by Lisa Schubert on behalf of School of Public Health