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A simplified health information model increased the level of knowledge regarding "five a day" and food safety in a city district

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Purpose ‐ The aim of this paper was to analyze the effect according to knowledge and behavior, respectively, through a simplified health information model launched in a selected city district. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The intervention in this study encompasses information meetings where two educational computer programs highlighting the "five a day" concept, and food hygiene were showcased in conjunction with a group discussion. In total, 92 people living or working in a selected city district participated. The effect of the intervention was determined by means of inquiries (multiple-choice) that were carried out prior to, immediately following, and three weeks after the intervention. Findings ‐ A statistically significant improvement in knowledge of the concepts "five a day", cross-contamination, and recommended storage temperature (for smoked salmon and raw mince meat) was observed, however, no major change in behavior was reported. Practical implications ‐ The knowledge improvement suggests that the education programs, in conjunction with discussions, are a useful information model for raising awareness about the notion of "five a day" and food safety. The results of the study make it clear that there are difficulties in getting people to change their behavior, let alone getting them to participate in health education offered locally. Originality/value ‐ Intervention projects are a communication tool that may be used in order to increase knowledge and produce behavioral change. The project is working from the inside out, i.e. it examines the needs first and then develops solutions for them.
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Keywords: "Five a day"; Cross contamination; Food safety; Fruit and vegetable consumption; Health education; Health information; Simplified information model

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-06-29

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