This Evidence Check was commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Health and brokered by the Sax Institute for The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre to better understand the evidence surrounding food health initiatives in the food service sectors. It aimed to help identify effective evidence-based strategies within the food service sector that can be implemented and evaluated with the broad goal of improving the foods offered, promoted, purchased and consumed out of the home; in order to reduce the public health burden of obesity and diet-related health problems in Australia over the longer term. The researchers reviewed 38 articles and reports and their findings indicate that awareness-raising schemes when used in isolation are ineffective, and actions beyond increasing awareness are needed to effect change. The findings also suggested schemes employed within the food service sector to improve consumer dietary health offer considerable potential to improve the nutritional quality of foods offered, promoted, purchased an consumers out of home. The review finds that more effort needs to be directed towards evaluating the effect of food service schemes on consumer health using robust research designs to build the evidence base.
Carins J, Pang B, Knox K, Wilmott T, Storr R, Robertson D, Rundle-Thiele S and Pettigrew S.