Adult Weight Management

AWM: Nutrition Education (2006)


Keller-Olaman SJ, Edwards V, Elliott SJ.  Evaluating a food bank recipe-tasting program.  Can J Diet Pract Res 2005; 66: 183-186.

PubMed ID: 16159412
Study Design:
Cross-Sectional Study
D - Click here for explanation of classification scheme.
Quality Rating:
Neutral NEUTRAL: See Quality Criteria Checklist below.
Research Purpose:
To evaluate formatively a combined heart-healthy recipe tasting and education program promoting healthy eating knowledge and skills in a group of food bank recipients.
Inclusion Criteria:
Participants of a food bank.
Exclusion Criteria:
None specifically mentioned.
Description of Study Protocol:


Food bank participants in Hamilton, Ontario.  Recipients were not approached but they were aware of the survey.  Participation was voluntary.


Cross-sectional survey.

Blinding used (if applicable)

Not applicable.

Intervention (if applicable)

Participants completed survey.

Statistical Analysis

Approximately 14 surveys were completed each month (35% of the 40 adults typically attending) until predetermined sample size of 55 was reached.  SPSS used to analyze data with chi-square analyses.

Data Collection Summary:

Timing of Measurements

Food bank recipients were surveyed.  Program involved offering information and a nutritious food sample during food bank hours.  Public health nutritionist chose recipes that were easy to prepare and used food bank staples (dried and canned products).  All recipients were offered the recipe, cooking advice and encouragement.  Evaluation took place at the food bank once a month over a 4-month period.

Dependent Variables

  • Self-administered survey measured food bank attendance, program awareness, information gained, skills learned, views on program continuation, and suggestions for program improvement.  Comprised closed- and open-ended questions.  Reviewed by research team to ensure face and content validity. 

Independent Variables

  • Demographic data

Control Variables


Description of Actual Data Sample:

Initial N: 55 adults

Attrition (final N):  55 adults, 23 men, 32 women

Age:  6 under 25, 13 aged 25-34, 21 aged 35-44, 9 aged 45-54, and 5 aged 55-65 

Ethnicity:  High proportion of visible minorities visited the food bank 

Other relevant demographics:  Most were women with young children 

Anthropometrics (e.g., were groups same or different on important measures)

Location:  Hamilton, Ontario 


Summary of Results:

Other Findings

In the previous 12 months, 45% had attended the food bank once a month, 32% had visited 2 - 6 times, and 20% were visiting for the first time.

Most participants (73%) were positive about the program, and 91% wanted the program to continue.

In addition, 78% would prepare the recipes sampled.

In contrast, program awareness and planning food bank visits to coincide with the program were generally low.  Although 87% liked the recipes sampled, 76% would not plan their visit specifically to coincide with the program.

Suggested improvements included cooking lessons, increased program frequency, and catering to special diets or personal tastes.

Chi-sqaure analyses showed that responses did not differ between men and women, and were not associated with frequency of food bank visits.

Response distributions were consistent between the 4 administrations, which suggests that the survey was reliable.


Author Conclusion:
Food banks are potential sites for effective nutrition promotion programs.  To reach more recipients, more frequent implementation and seeking the use of a designated room are suggested for the current program.  The findings also suggest that the sampling approach to promoting healthy eating to food bank recipients deserves further study.  For example, monitoring the selection of featured recipe ingredients would be a useful indicator of behavior.
Funding Source:
Reviewer Comments:
Survey found to be valid, but they did not test reliability.  Statistics only descriptive in nature.
Quality Criteria Checklist: Primary Research
Relevance Questions
  1. Would implementing the studied intervention or procedure (if found successful) result in improved outcomes for the patients/clients/population group? (Not Applicable for some epidemiological studies) Yes
  2. Did the authors study an outcome (dependent variable) or topic that the patients/clients/population group would care about? Yes
  3. Is the focus of the intervention or procedure (independent variable) or topic of study a common issue of concern to dieteticspractice? Yes
  4. Is the intervention or procedure feasible? (NA for some epidemiological studies) Yes
Validity Questions
1. Was the research question clearly stated? Yes
  1.1. Was (were) the specific intervention(s) or procedure(s) [independent variable(s)] identified? Yes
  1.2. Was (were) the outcome(s) [dependent variable(s)] clearly indicated? Yes
  1.3. Were the target population and setting specified? Yes
2. Was the selection of study subjects/patients free from bias? ???
  2.1. Were inclusion/exclusion criteria specified (e.g., risk, point in disease progression, diagnostic or prognosis criteria), and with sufficient detail and without omitting criteria critical to the study? No
  2.2. Were criteria applied equally to all study groups? N/A
  2.3. Were health, demographics, and other characteristics of subjects described? Yes
  2.4. Were the subjects/patients a representative sample of the relevant population? ???
3. Were study groups comparable? ???
  3.1. Was the method of assigning subjects/patients to groups described and unbiased? (Method of randomization identified if RCT) N/A
  3.2. Were distribution of disease status, prognostic factors, and other factors (e.g., demographics) similar across study groups at baseline? N/A
  3.3. Were concurrent controls or comparisons used? (Concurrent preferred over historical control or comparison groups.) N/A
  3.4. If cohort study or cross-sectional study, were groups comparable on important confounding factors and/or were preexisting differences accounted for by using appropriate adjustments in statistical analysis? ???
  3.5. If case control study, were potential confounding factors comparable for cases and controls? (If case series or trial with subjects serving as own control, this criterion is not applicable.) ???
  3.6. If diagnostic test, was there an independent blind comparison with an appropriate reference standard (e.g., "gold standard")? N/A
4. Was method of handling withdrawals described? N/A
  4.1. Were follow-up methods described and the same for all groups? N/A
  4.2. Was the number, characteristics of withdrawals (i.e., dropouts, lost to follow up, attrition rate) and/or response rate (cross-sectional studies) described for each group? (Follow up goal for a strong study is 80%.) N/A
  4.3. Were all enrolled subjects/patients (in the original sample) accounted for? N/A
  4.4. Were reasons for withdrawals similar across groups? N/A
  4.5. If diagnostic test, was decision to perform reference test not dependent on results of test under study? N/A
5. Was blinding used to prevent introduction of bias? N/A
  5.1. In intervention study, were subjects, clinicians/practitioners, and investigators blinded to treatment group, as appropriate? N/A
  5.2. Were data collectors blinded for outcomes assessment? (If outcome is measured using an objective test, such as a lab value, this criterion is assumed to be met.) N/A
  5.3. In cohort study or cross-sectional study, were measurements of outcomes and risk factors blinded? N/A
  5.4. In case control study, was case definition explicit and case ascertainment not influenced by exposure status? N/A
  5.5. In diagnostic study, were test results blinded to patient history and other test results? N/A
6. Were intervention/therapeutic regimens/exposure factor or procedure and any comparison(s) described in detail? Were interveningfactors described? Yes
  6.1. In RCT or other intervention trial, were protocols described for all regimens studied? N/A
  6.2. In observational study, were interventions, study settings, and clinicians/provider described? Yes
  6.3. Was the intensity and duration of the intervention or exposure factor sufficient to produce a meaningful effect? Yes
  6.4. Was the amount of exposure and, if relevant, subject/patient compliance measured? N/A
  6.5. Were co-interventions (e.g., ancillary treatments, other therapies) described? N/A
  6.6. Were extra or unplanned treatments described? N/A
  6.7. Was the information for 6.4, 6.5, and 6.6 assessed the same way for all groups? Yes
  6.8. In diagnostic study, were details of test administration and replication sufficient? N/A
7. Were outcomes clearly defined and the measurements valid and reliable? ???
  7.1. Were primary and secondary endpoints described and relevant to the question? Yes
  7.2. Were nutrition measures appropriate to question and outcomes of concern? Yes
  7.3. Was the period of follow-up long enough for important outcome(s) to occur? Yes
  7.4. Were the observations and measurements based on standard, valid, and reliable data collection instruments/tests/procedures? ???
  7.5. Was the measurement of effect at an appropriate level of precision? No
  7.6. Were other factors accounted for (measured) that could affect outcomes? ???
  7.7. Were the measurements conducted consistently across groups? Yes
8. Was the statistical analysis appropriate for the study design and type of outcome indicators? ???
  8.1. Were statistical analyses adequately described and the results reported appropriately? ???
  8.2. Were correct statistical tests used and assumptions of test not violated? ???
  8.3. Were statistics reported with levels of significance and/or confidence intervals? No
  8.4. Was "intent to treat" analysis of outcomes done (and as appropriate, was there an analysis of outcomes for those maximally exposed or a dose-response analysis)? N/A
  8.5. Were adequate adjustments made for effects of confounding factors that might have affected the outcomes (e.g., multivariate analyses)? ???
  8.6. Was clinical significance as well as statistical significance reported? No
  8.7. If negative findings, was a power calculation reported to address type 2 error? N/A
9. Are conclusions supported by results with biases and limitations taken into consideration? Yes
  9.1. Is there a discussion of findings? Yes
  9.2. Are biases and study limitations identified and discussed? Yes
10. Is bias due to study's funding or sponsorship unlikely? Yes
  10.1. Were sources of funding and investigators' affiliations described? Yes
  10.2. Was the study free from apparent conflict of interest? Yes