The results from Eat Like A Champ's 2016 evaluation are now available, demonstrating that children who took part in the programme shifted their behaviour to healthier eating habits by +5.8%.
In the 2015/2016 academic year, Eat Like A Champ underwent an independent evaluation by Dr. Michael Nelson of PHN Research and supported by the Children's Food Trust. The study was carried out across 71 Year 5 classes in 37 state primary schools across 5 London boroughs between January and May 2016, evaluating almost 2000 children. The children were asked to fill in food and drink checklists noting what they had consumed over the last two days at three milestones: before taking part in Eat Like A Champ, 6 weeks after starting Eat Like A Champ and 12 weeks after starting Eat Like A Champ.
The results from this evaluation have demonstrated that Eat Like A Champ has a positive impact at 6 weeks. Children reported eating 3.2% fewer “less healthy” foods and 2.6% “healthier” foods, which gives a net healthy eating gain of +5.8%. These changes equate to children eating two extra portions of fruit and vegetables and one less chocolate bar a week.
There were also some interesting findings with regards to specific food groups: the study noted that consumption of take-aways decreased by 19% after 6 weeks; biscuits, chocolates, sweets and snacks fell by 9%; and fresh fruit consumption increased by 9% in 6 weeks.
Dr Michael Nelson further analysed the impact of Eat Like A Champ according to levels of deprivation. Using data on the percentages of pupils eligible for free school meals and the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index, the evaluation demonstrates that Eat Like A Champ has a more profound impact in classes with children from more deprived backgrounds. For example, classes with the highest proportion of children receiving free school meals had a net healthy eating gain of 7% after 6 weeks, in comparison to 3% among classes with the lowest proportion of children receiving free school meals.
Eat Like A Champ is currently developing a digital evaluation process, in order to allow more schools access to take part in the evaluation in future years.
If you would like to find out more about this evaluation and its results, you can download the full report and a brief summary document of the report here.
If you have any specific questions or feedback on the findings, we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nelson M. The impact of Eat Like a Champ on Year 5 pupil eating habits. Second evaluation. London. Public Health Nutrition Research. February. 2017.