Evaluation of the short term impact of the Healthier Scotland Cooking Bus.
(2016) Evaluation of the short term impact of the Healthier Scotland Cooking Bus., no. 29.
Background: The Healthier Scotland Cooking Bus (HSCB) was launched in 2008 following the Scottish Government's plan to improve diet, increase physical activity and tackle obesity. It is a mobile kitchen, in the form of an articulated truck, which visits schools and local communities. It provides cooking sessions for students, healthy eating advice, teaching resources, cooking equipment and continuing professional development (CPD) courses for teachers. Continuous evaluation of nutritional education programmes is essential to allow the impact of the programme to be assessed. Aim: To evaluate the CPD sessions of the HSCB and assess how effective they are. Design: Pre and Post-Surveys currently employed by the HSCB were used to collect a combination of quantitative and qualitative data about the session. Additional questions were developed and added to these surveys to evaluate how effective they were at collecting the relevant data. Results: The CPD session was found to increase confidence in a variety of topics concerning teaching, cooking and nutrition. When the pre and post-surveys were evaluated, the participants' view of the importance of cooking education had significantly increased (p=0.011). Significant increases in confidence in various aspects of teaching cooking were also found (p<0.05). For example, teaching how to use cooking equipment, teaching about food hygiene, food preparation and cooking skills, adapting recipes to make them healthier, coordinating cooking lessons for different age groups/experience levels, coordinating cooking/preparing a variety of healthy recipes, planning, setting up and leading cooking activities, linking cooking education to other areas of the curriculum and developing cooking education. Conclusion: The Healthier Scotland Cooking Bus was successful in increasing confidence in a variety of cooking skills and health education. The surveys were also found to be suitable in collecting the relevant evaluation information about the CPD sessions. Key words: Health, Nutrition, Cooking, Education, Scotland, Evaluation.