The Health and Food Project, Ireland

Socially disadvantaged households in Ireland have poorer dietary behaviour than richer members of Irish Society (Friel and Condon 2004). It is well recognised that inadequate dietary habits are linked to chronic diseases. Furthermore, limited published studies indicate that the peer-led approach can be effective particularly with hard to reach target groups eg disadvantaged (UK, Scientific Advisory Committtee 2003 )


  • To form a partership(s) with local community groups
  • To recruit and train peer instructors on Dept and Health and Children ´Healthy Food Made Easy´ pack (HFME)
  • To screen prospective groups using validated screening tool so as to ensure reaching target audience
  • To audit the project on an ongoing basis to ensure standards are maintained
  • To evaluate project to establish if nutrition knowledge, cooking skills and attitudes to healthy eating have been improved as a result of attending the food and health course.


  • Set-up partnership with local community groups (Mountmellick Development Association – MDA and Athlone Community Taskforce – ACT.
  • Develop joint project plan, sign service agreement and set-up steering plus operational groups
  • Employ local coordinator plus recruit and train peer instructors in HFME pack. (16 sessions – content: nutrition education + facilitation skills).
  • Peer instructors deliver pack to disadvantaged community groups.
  • Coordinator manages day-to-day organisation of project
  • Dietitian delivers ongoing training and support to maintain quality control in relation to nutrition

Key Players

a)Health Service Executive – Midlands Regions

  • Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service
  • Health Promotion Service

b) Community Development Groups MDA, ACT

c) Members of local community (as member of steering group)

More information is available here

Practices & Practices Databases
Non-communicable diseases, alcohol, nutrition, obesity, cancer, smoking, physical activity

Back to Database