Food Academy believes that monitoring and evaluation is essential to establish what works and what does not work.  The fact that food diets are difficult to track makes this task even more necessary.  An evidence-based approach is core to our business


1. Robust evaluation and data collection framework (2011) in place, with support from the Medical Research Council Human Nutrition and the National Institute of Economic Research.  Including pre and post intervention questionnaires and validated semi-structured interviews carried out by Kings College London Nutrition and Dietetics students.

2. Implemented recommendations of an in-depth study (2015) commissioned by the Department of Health’s Public Health Research Consortium.  At the end of the study, we worked closely with the team leader to ensure the full implementation of its key recommendations, particularly by reducing the number of behavioural change messages being delivered so that participants are more likely to process and adhere to the advice being given.

3. Implemented recommendations  from semi-structured interviews (2015) carried out by Kings College London students, particularly with the adoption of more ‘local’ recipes, tailored to reflect the tastes, budget and cultural traditions of the local community.


4. Findings from semi-structured interviews with participants of 400 cooking and exercise workshops (2017), commissioned by Tesco, Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation, with  2,800 attendance by mothers and 5,600 attendance by children:

(a) mothers adopted and maintained a  number of the healthy eating behaviour changes suggested  in the workshops up to 1.5 years earlier. 

(b) mothers that initially had no interest in physical exercise activities had a positive experience in the workshops and were more keen to become less sedentary.

As a result, we introduced  “Get Fit in the Kitchen” that incorporates cooking, physical activities and weight management, with participants referred through their GPs after a diagnoses of pre-diabetes.  The evaluation of this intervention will be able to rely on access to key biomarkers and will reduce the reliance on self-reporting data. 

5. Evaluations of new programmes will be able to access clinical data and key biomarkers; as with the GP referral programme for pre-diabetes patients as well as to our research programmes with Queen Mary University on pregnant women with pre-eclampsia and metabolic risk factors. 

Monitoring and evaluation findings:

- 1500 people completing 8-10 week workshops. Near 100% participant satisfaction.  More than 300 external engagement events.
- improvement in ability to follow a simple recipe
- improvement in knife skills
- improvement in knowledge of food hygiene
- improvement in confidence in trying new foods.
- only small increase in participants' cooking at home from scratch.