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Effective Nutrition Education for Aboriginal Australians: Lessons from a Diabetes Cooking Course

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Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior Volume 44, Number 1, ISSN 1499-4046


Objectives: To examine the experiences of Aboriginal Australians with or at risk of diabetes who attended urban community cooking courses in 2002-2007; and to develop recommendations for increasing the uptake and effectiveness of nutrition education in Aboriginal communities. Methods: Descriptive qualitative approach using semistructured interviews with 23 Aboriginal course participants aged 19-72. Verbatim transcripts were coded using NVivo 7 software, and qualitative analysis was undertaken. Results: Engagement and learning were increased by emphasizing the social aspects of the program, holding the course in a familiar Aboriginal community-controlled health setting and using small group learning with Aboriginal peers. Partnership with a vocational training institute provided teaching expertise, but there was conflict between vocational and health promotion objectives. Conclusions and Implications: Nutrition programs for Aboriginal Australians should be social, flexible, and held in accessible, culturally appropriate settings and focus on healthful cooking techniques using simple, affordable ingredients.


Abbott, P.A., Davison, J.E., Moore, L.F. & Rubinstein, R. (2012). Effective Nutrition Education for Aboriginal Australians: Lessons from a Diabetes Cooking Course. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 44(1), 55-59. Retrieved February 19, 2019 from .

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