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Research Case studies

The Evaluation of the Phunky Foods Programme

Dr Pinki Sahota

Since moving into academia from professional practice, Dr Pinki Sahota has established a strong track record and profile in tackling nutrition and childhood obesity. Pinki is a member of the Childhood Obesity Research Group of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. She is Deputy Chair of The Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO) and co-chair of the Regional ASO group.

Pinki’s expertise lies in childhood nutrition and childhood obesity and her key interests are in the development, implementation and evaluation of projects to improve public health and reduce health inequalities in a wide variety of settings.

Pinki’s work is fundamental in developing more effective approaches to the increasing challenge of promoting healthier eating and weight management particularly in school-aged children and the early years, and is of key interest to colleagues leading on Health, Children’s Wellbeing, Education, Social Care and Families looking for more effective, better value, evidence-based approaches.

The vital importance of early interventions to prevent obesity is now increasingly being recognised. Pinki was successful in securing a £255,000 research award from the Nestlé UK Healthy Kids Network to evaluate PhunkyFoods, a primary-school nutrition and physical activity education programme over two years.

Pinki has been conducting a feasibility study, including process evaluation of the programme. Her work has involved implementation of a 2-year cluster randomised controlled trial across a sample of 8 schools in Halifax, with a target population of Year 2 and year 4 children in each school (KS1 and 2). The work commenced in September 2012 with results due out in September 2014.

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