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Title: An evaluation of the Heartbeat Award scheme in Leicestershire
Author: Holdsworth, Michelle
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 1998
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The Heartbeat Award (HBA) is a national scheme which attempts to modify the environment of public eating places (cafes, restaurants and public houses) and workplace canteens. The Award is given to premises if one-third of its trading area is non-smoking, it there are high standards of food hygiene and one-third of food provided is 'healthy', i.e. low in fat and sugar and high in fibre. The scheme was implemented locally in 1990 and is an alliance between the Nutrition and Dietetic Service, the Health Promotion Service and Environmental Health Officers of the 9 local councils. This thesis evaluates the scheme as it operated in Leicestershire using both qualitative (interviews and focus groups) and quantitative (surveys) methods, obtaining data from both staff and customers of the premises and the Community Dietitians involved in its implementation. Twenty-three premises were investigated, 6 of which participated in the longitudinal survey in the workplace, 2 of these became controls as they had failed to reach the standard of the HBA. Employees were investigated before the scheme was implemented and 6 months after implementation. Employees acknowledged that it was easier to eat a healthy diet at work after the scheme had been implemented. Even so, there were no differences between the attitudes, knowledge and dietary behaviour of employees in HBA holding canteens and the controls, that could not be attributed to chance or other exogenous factors. The sole expression was an increase in fruit consumption at work in HBA premises. There was considerable room for improving the operation of the scheme, particularly with regard to consistency and compliance with HBA criteria. The thesis concludes that the scheme is not worth continuing locally in its current form unless radical improvements are made, many of which have resource implications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available