CFHS has provided some funding to CHANGES community health project in Musselburgh to carry out an evaluation of its Eat Well – Stay Active course. The aim of the course is to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of people living in East Lothian. It is a six week course that consists of five weekly two hour sessions and a sixth session after a five week break. The sessions include some light physical activity, learning about a healthy diet, and some basic cooking. The programme has been running since 2010.
The evaluation, which is being carried out in conjunction with the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (SCPHRP), is a retrospective one that invites all the participants from courses to date to take part. The aim is to see if the course has achieved its outcomes in the short and long term.
The objectives for the evaluation are to:
- determine which outcomes the course appears to have an effect on and whether short term effects are sustained in the longer term;
- explore and gain an understanding of the mechanisms of change as a result of the course. For example, if people are buying healthier food, was it as a direct result of the course, because they found it that it was cheaper, or for reasons unrelated to the course;
- explore the parts of the course that people enjoyed and found useful, and the parts that they found unhelpful; and
- explore any unintended consequences (positive and negative) of taking part in the course.