Residential camps as a setting for nutrition education of Australian girls

Payne, Jan E., Capra, Sandra M., & Hickman, Ingrid (2002) Residential camps as a setting for nutrition education of Australian girls. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 26(4), pp. 383-388.


Objective: To implement a planned nutrition education program aiming to promote healthy eating and consumption of a variety of foods in a residential camp setting for Australian girls aged 9 – 15 years.

Methods: 1600 girls attending a residential camp for 7 days in Queensland Australia (2000), participated in a nutrition education program involving the provision of healthy tasty foods based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents and a nutrition education package for use at the camp restaurants each evening. The package included nutrition information on table-talkers and place-mats, together with individual "passport" booklets involving puzzles and questions with incentives for completion. Process and impact evaluations were conducted by surveying a sample of participants using questionnaires and focus groups.

Results: Of those surveyed, 77% felt they had learned something from the health promotion material. 94% stated they had changed their eating habits to include more core food groups during the camp with over 40% stating they had increased vegetable consumption compared to their usual intake. However, implementation of the program was difficult with approximately 60% of campers apparently unaware of the incentives offered and less than 30% demonstrating completion of their passports by receiving their final badge.

Conclusions: Barriers to the involvement of this target group in the health promotion activities need to be explored further. Involvement and training of all key personnel is suggested to ensure consistent implementation and encouragement for all participants. For many participants, an increased awareness of nutrition issues and changes to usual eating habits did occur during the camp period. Long term behaviour changes outside the camp environment should also be assessed in any future programs.

Implications: Using residential camp settings to target children aged 9 – 15 years is an innovative strategy for nutrition education programs. Integration of such strategies into longer time frame programs may be of great benefit to participants and improve effectiveness of nutrition education programs aimed at this target group.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 592
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) makes full PDFs of Journal articles available six months after publication. For more information see the journal's website (link above)
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Keywords: Queensland, Girls, Nutrition, Health education
ISSN: 1326-0200
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA)
Deposited On: 01 Dec 2004 00:00
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 14:37

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