Led by NHS Dudley, Bostin Value was a project implemented to improve fruit and vegetable consumption by addressing food access issues in three estates within the borough. Primarily created to target parents of young children 4-11 years-old, the program also included school staff as a secondary audience since both parties were found to play an integral role in the healthy eating habits of children. Once the audience and estates had been determined, the project team carried out additional research including food retail mapping, population mapping, review of local data on fruit and vegetable consumption, and focus groups and interviews with residents and key stakeholders to better understand the target audience. After finding that ‘Bostin’ was synonymous with meaning ‘great’ or ‘excellent’, the brand Bostin Value was created to help parents and children see the intervention as a positive development. Focusing on supply and demand, the team developed a two-pronged approach for the program to address both physical access issues as well as the lack of consumer demand for fruits and vegetables. To tackle barriers identified in the initial research phase, a fruit and vegetable stall was installed at a local school, produce was offered at competitive prices and via promotions, pre-chopped and single-portion produce packs were made available, recipe packs incorporating available produce were created, and educational sessions were developed to raise awareness of healthy eating and the health benefits of fruit and vegetables. Education sessions were promoted to parents through letters sent home from the school, posters and flyers displayed at the playground, incentives, and a “parent pamper day”. Evaluation of the program was achieved through pre and post intervention surveys with parents and children, an audit of the fruit and vegetable stall, evaluation of skills sessions, and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders. Baseline and post-intervention data were also collected at a control school to allow for comparison to the treatment groups. Between April 2009 and July 2010, the mean number of portions of fruit consumed by adults each week increased from 2.4 to 3.1, with similar increases seen among children – 2.6 pre-intervention increased to 3.7 post-intervention. The results of the market stall audit supported these findings, as most purchases made were for fruit, to be consumed as a snack by the whole family.
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