Local NHS celebrates national award win for South Asian healthy eating campaign
A local healthcare campaign has won a prestigious national award.
Your Healthy Kitchen, a campaign showing the South Asian community how to cook traditional food with a healthy twist, was crowned the winner in the Healthcare Campaign Category at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations’ (CIPR) recent Excellence Awards 2020.
The three clinical commissioning groups in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, together with Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, originally launched the campaign in November 2019. It was designed to show local South Asian people how making some small changes to how they cook traditional meals can make them much more healthy, reducing their risk of diabetes in particular, but also other long term conditions.
The win coincides with two relevant awareness weeks. Diabetes UK is painting #theBigPicture of life with diabetes this week during their annual Diabetes Week (8th to 14th June). Meanwhile, last week, the British Dietetic Association celebrated the diversity of #WhatDietitiansDo during Dietitians Week.
The campaign consisted of five recipe videos and a booklet that were both distributed into the South Asian community. It educated a minimum of 10,885 local people how to eat more healthily, against a target of 2,626.
People from south Asian backgrounds are six times more likely to have type 2 diabetes than the population in general, sometimes due to genetic differences in how their bodies respond to some foods, as well as cultural eating habits. Unhealthy ingredients such as ghee (high fat butter), sugar and salt are used in most traditional south Asian recipes, which can lead to a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Commenting on the success the CIPR judges said: “This was an excellent and well-thought-out campaign with exemplary execution. The communications teams at the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland have helped to address a major health issue – the prevalence of diabetes amongst South Asian communities.
“From the outset, they developed specific, quantifiable objectives and executed a culturally relevant campaign to affect behaviour change amongst this community. Using research and insight, they developed a campaign that met the needs of their target audience creatively and from a channel perspective. They also ensured the campaign execution was fully integrated – using the right communications and PR tactics to achieve their objectives. They also ensured the content was well informed, not only by their audience but by expert dietitians who understood their audience.”
Professor Azhar Farooqi, Clinical Director of the East Midlands Diabetes and Vascular Network, GP and Chair of Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group said: “This was a fantastic campaign that was really well received in the South Asian community, which is particularly at risk from developing type 2 diabetes.
“Now more than ever it is important for all communities to improve their health, not just South Asian people. This campaign shows that by making small changes to your diet, it is very easy for everyone to be that little bit healthier, and that doesn’t mean missing out on eating your favourite foods or compromising on flavour.”
Jessica Mhesuria, a dietitian for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust who developed the recipes and starred in the videos said: “I am really proud that Your Healthy Kitchen has won this award. I really enjoyed being part of the campaign and helping so many local people to improve their health. It is even more significant as we have just been celebrating #WhatDietitiansDo during Dietitians Week. One of my key highlights was knowing that the families we were trying to target with this campaign had tried the recipes and really enjoyed them. It is very rewarding as a Dietitian to know that small changes will have long term impacts on health”
The recipe videos and booklet are available online by visiting www.yourhealthykitchen.co.uk. To mark Diabetes Week, a new video has been published giving some top tips to help people adapt their own meals.