A physical activity learning module improves medical students’ skills and confidence for advising patients about physical activity

This research article was published on 1st March 2018 in the Montenegrin Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 7(1), 31-38

Authors Sandra Mandic, Hamish Wilson, Monika Clark-Grill, Diana O’Neill

This study evaluated the effects of a physical activity (PA) learning module on knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward PA counselling in third-year medical students studying at the University of Otago, Dunedin. 216 students participated in a PA learning module that included tutorials, lectures, and experiential learning through providing health checks to adults.

At baseline and four months after the intervention, students completed a paper questionnaire about their awareness of current PA guidelines, benefits of, and attitudes toward PA advising, perceived competence/importance of PA advising skills, and personal PA habits.

After the intervention, students reported a greater awareness of the PA guidelines, the national PA initiative, the importance of PA counselling in general practice, and their confidence, and perceived competence in providing PA advice compared to baseline.

However, even after the training, students on average perceived themselves to be only moderately competent in providing PA advice. The authors conclude that clinical training for medical students should be designed to improve students’ competence and skills in PA counselling.

A Snapshot of Food Security in Whangarei

Northland DHB undertook a project to get a picture of what food security meant for the people residing in four communities (Onerahi (Sherwood area), Otangarei, Raumanga, and Tikipunga) in Whangarei (2016).

A Systematic Search and Review of Adult-Targeted Overweight and Obesity Prevention Mass Media Campaigns and Their Evaluation: 2000–2017

Abstract from the Journal of Health Communication.
Authors James Kite, Anne Grunseit, Erika Bohn, Goldaum, Tom Carroll & Adrian Bauman

Mass media campaigns are a commonly used strategy in public health. However, no review has assessed whether the design and evaluation of overweight and obesity campaigns meets best practice recommendations. This study aimed to fill this gap. We systematically searched five databases for peer-reviewed articles describing adult-targeted obesity mass media campaigns published between 2000 and 2017, complemented by reference list searches and contact with authors and agencies responsible for the campaigns. We extracted data on campaign design, implementation, and evaluation from eligible publications and conducted a qualitative review of 29 publications reporting on 14 campaigns. We found a need for formative research with target audiences to ensure campaigns focus on the most salient issues. Further, we noted that most campaigns targeted individual behaviors, despite calls for campaigns to also focus upstream and to address social determinants of obesity. Television was the dominant communication channel but, with the rapid advance of digital media, evaluation of other channels, such as social media, is increasingly important. Finally, although evaluation methods varied in quality, the evidence suggests that campaigns can have an impact on intermediate outcomes, such as knowledge and attitudes. However, evidence is still limited as to whether campaigns can influence behavior change.

About transport and health factsheet (2017)

This factsheet provides information about how transport impacts on human health in New Zealand. This information complements the new set of environmental health indicators (EHIs) on transport and health released by the EHINZ programme in May 2017.

Academics and supermarket chain collaborate for study to encourage healthy food purchases

The results of a study co-designed by Countdown supermarkets and academics at the University of Auckland, have highlighted opportunities to further build on knowledge that could promote healthy food purchasing decisions in a supermarket setting.

The chosen intervention tested more prominent shelf placement of healthier breakfast cereals. 

While the research showed that more prominent shelf placement alone did not positively influence purchasing behaviour, insights gathered suggest that customers and retailers were supportive of making healthier products more prominent on shelves, says study investigator Dr Leanne Young.

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