Impact of the PhunkyFoods Programme
Annual Schools Survey 2016
Each year the PhunkyFoods research and development team conduct an annual school survey and the report is published on our website. Our headline findings from the 2015/16 survey are shown below.
97% of respondents rated the PhunkyFoods package as either 'good' or 'excellent'.
89% of schools responding to the survey stated that they believed that the implementation of the PFP and/or use of its resources in school had had a positive impact on awareness and knowledge of healthy eating issues for their pupils.
Evidence given included statements such as;
“Children are able to talk about a healthy lifestyle and what that means for them."
"More children speak confidently about healthy eating and their own attitudes towards foods."
"Evidence in discussions with children and written work in books."
"In other lessons children are able to transfer learning. At lunch times and snack time they are able to say what is healthy and not healthy."
"Children have referenced the information they picked up in assembly during their science lessons."
"Children are able to talk confidently about balanced diets in Year 2."
"Children talk more openly about having a balanced diet. They know the key messages and are aware of being healthy at a young age."
"Supported our Healthy Schools Enhancement for Healthy Eating. Excellent understanding of pupils on what constitutes a healthy lifestyle."
78% of schools responding to the survey stated that they believed that the implementation of the PFP and/or use of its resources in school had had a positive impact on improving healthy eating behaviour of their pupils.
Evidence given included statements such as;
“Changes to breakfast habits.”
"Uptake of breakfast club."
“Children are making more healthy choices at lunchtime.”
"Types of foods eaten by children bringing a packed lunch to school."
"Parents have commented on the lessons and have said they try to buy some healthy choices."
"Parents have commented that children have begun to eat variety of food since trying them in school."
"Pupils are far more interested in trying new foods."
"Children are eating a healthier breakfast."
"Through pupil interviews and observation at lunch times, pupils are making healthier choices."
Schools were asked what the best thing about the PhunkyFoods Programme is and the following cloud was observed (NB Helena is the name of one of our fabulous Community Support Workers!);
Feasibility Study - The Evaluation of the PhunkyFoods Programme (2014)
Meaghan Christian1, Pinki Sahota1, Rhiannon Day1, Kim Cocks2
1The Institute for Health and Wellbeing, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Metropolitan University) Calverley Street, Leeds LS1 3HE
2York Trials Unit, Department of Health Sciences, ARRC Building, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK
Within schools there is a need for easily implemented interventions designed to promote healthy lifestyles through encouraging a healthier balanced diet and to increase children’s physical activity. The PhunkyFoods programme (PFP), underpinned by the whole school approach is a nutrition and physical activity education intervention aimed at improving health related knowledge and behaviours in children. This study aimed to assess: the feasibility, acceptability and delivery of the PFP intervention; appropriateness of outcomes and outcome measures; recruitment, and retention.
A cluster randomised feasibility trial consisting of eight primary schools (4 Intervention and 4 Control) in the North of England with a total of 311 pupils (175 boys; 183 girls’ aged 6-9 years old). The following validated tools used at baseline, 6 months and 18 months were; anthropometric measurement, a Healthy Lifestyle Knowledge Questionnaire (HLKQ), dietary intake and physical activity using the Synchronised Nutrition and Activity Program (SNAPTM), and psychological well-being to assess intervention effect of dieting behaviours; body image; self-perceptions.
At 6 months a total of 337 (94.1%) of the original pupils remained in the trial, and this decreased to 325 (90.8%) at 18 months. There was no difference between the two groups for total knowledge score, however, for Year 4 pupils there was a statistically significant, higher mean healthy balance score from the HLKQ (mean difference 5.1, 95%CI 0.1-10.1, p=0.05). The SNAP tool identified a possible trend towards Year 2 Intervention pupils consuming fewer fizzy drinks, chocolates, sweets, biscuits and cakes compared to Control group pupils. Year 4 Intervention pupils reported higher fruit consumption at 18 months compared to the Control pupils. However, a fully powered randomised controlled trial is needed to determine if these differences are statistically significant. There was no evidence that the intervention had any detrimental effect on the psychological well-being of the Intervention school pupils.
The results support the future implementation of a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the PFP. Overall teachers found PFP to be a highly acceptable programme for teaching children about nutrition and physical activity which could possibly help tackle poor nutrition and sedentary behaviour in children.
Presented as an oral presentation at the ASO UK Congress on Obesity, Sept 2015, Glasgow. Published in the conference proceedings.
Evaluation of the PhunkyFoods Programme (2008)
Independent research conducted by the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) found that;
- Evidence from pupils, staff and parents/carers was clear; there were large and positive changes in attitudes, awareness and behaviouraround healthy eating and physical activity.
- Teachers and parents reported increased awareness and knowledge of healthy eating and physical activity.
- There was evidence that where the PFP was delivered regularly, whether through the curriculum, in PPA time or in after-schools clubs, there was more likely to be a positive impact on pupils’ knowledge and awareness of health messages.
- Most pupils reported eating more healthily and doing more physical activity after taking part in the PFP.
- Staff, parents and pupils all reported that children ‘LOVED’ the PFP.
The study concluded:
"Popular with the whole school community, PFP clearly helps expand, embed and enhance health-related teaching, through increasing school staff competence and confidence, complementing other initiatives and positively impacting on pupils knowledge, attitudes and behaviour."
Assessment of shared characteristics of PhunkyFoods schools that run extra-curricular outreach programmes in the UK
This qualitative study was carried out by Daniel McAlpine (Advanced Nutrition MSc, Leeds Metropolitan University). The study aimed to identify the characteristics of schools that chose to implement community healthy lifestyles outreach programmes, and to determine barriers to successful implementation. Five core themes emerged from the data when looking at the characteristics of schools implementing surccesful community programmes. These are detailed below;
- Parental Involvement - 63% of schools found that increased parental involvement was key to running a successful programme, increased parental involvement eased staffing issues and reinforced messages at home
- Community Links - Increased community links can help overcome staffing, resources, financial barriers, and is a major facilitator found in successful schools
- Key Drivers - Schools champions and effort were seen as key drivers to success. As a dedicated, passionate teacher can link all four of the other themes together
- Staff to Children Ratio - 36% respondents reported this as the main barrier to success. It can be overcome through community links and parental involvement
- Design Feedback - 40% described a good feedback loop from design through to evaluation as beneficial when tailoring sessions to vulnerable communities. Involving parents and children in the design phase instilled the relevance and importance of the project.
The study concluded that these themes should not be seen as separate isolated characteristics, but rather an interlinking process, that do not in themselves cause success, but rather facilitate the easy implementation of successful programmes.