Setting an example: food and health policy within the National Health Service

Annie S. Anderson, M. E. J. Lean

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    The factors involved in implementing Food and Health Policies within the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS) have been examined with special reference to three District Health Authorities which have pioneered work in this area. A point of view is presented of the standardized approaches developed for education programmes aimed at stimulating interest and increasing the knowledge of consumers and health educators, and of the practical dietary modifications required in adapting recipes of traditional dishes and in decreasing or replacing unsuitable menu choices. The level of commitment and practical limitations of the catering departments can be identified as the most frequent rate-determining element in policy implementation. However, the necessary changes can often be presented to catering departments as interesting challenges with possible financial advantages. The structure of the NHS offers particular opportunities for establishing and evaluating Food and Health Policy: staff from many disciplines can become involved in a programme of preventive medicine which is also likely to lead to improvements in patient-care networks. Organization at district level, however, has tended to result in duplication of effort, errors and costs. Although studies to evaluate Food and Health Policies have been designed in most districts, to date these have tended to concentrate on catering aspects. Full assessment of the policies will only be possible if standardised methods of evaluation are integrated into all stages of implementation programmes.

    © Oxford University Press
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)275-285
    JournalHealth Education Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1987


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