- Ass.-Prof. Dr. Petra Rust, University of Vienna, Department of Nutrition Science
- DSA Susanne Fuhs, MDes, Nordrand Mobile Jugendarbeit
- Walter Wörz, spacelab – Produktionsschule Wien
- Kirsten Akrivou, spacelab – Produktionsschule Wien
Since NEET-Teenagers have a higher risk concerning social exclusion and health problems, GAAS wants to strengthen health literacy among this heterogeneous group: mental illness or substance are some of the potential health risks. The lack of data regarding health-related behavior and eating habits hitherto collected implies an even more disadvantagious situation.
The project and its goals
The project is based on the results of two networking events of stakeholders in the area of Vienna and St.Pölten.Three main points have been developed throughout these discussions and will be targeted in the project: a healthy approach to diet, exercise and mental health:
- Participating teenagers should be able to actively shape and change their everyday health-related behavior and eating habits. Participating mentors should enlarge their nutritional expertise and be able to implement health-promoting measures.
- A targeted product for nutrition communication purposes will be developed
- A further education course specializing into dietetics will be established
Intevention of teenagers and their mentors
Over a time period of six month GAAS has held interventions concerning diet, exercise and mental health ( body awareness, stress reduction, eating disorders) on various days of action. Each intervention was – depending on the location – either embedded in an already existing infrastructure or implemented as a new offer. Each location is supported by students of dietetics, nutrition science and physiotherapy. Their age also ensures a peer-to-peer approach.
A practical approach is adopted for all measures of communication; information about health and well-being is passed on in a fun and playful way. Due to the heterogenity of the target group the students had to prove flexibility, creativity and interpersonal skills. Regular participation, positive feedback and contiunuous exchange of students and teenagers has proven to be especially valuable to the project.
In addition to the days of action targeted social media has been established: GAAS – Essen, Bewegung & Gemeinschaft
A product for successful nutrition communication
Based on a situation-analysis and experiences made throughout the interventions GAAS created a product for nutrition communication through a participatory development process. The situation analysis has shown that sweetened beverages and energy drinks are an essential component of the adolescents’ life style and that their drinking behaviour shows great potential for improvement. As a result GAAS developed a drink as an innovative and creative communication tool. Different settings (youth work organisations, schools) will have the opportunity to benefit from this project afterwards.
Development of a certification course for people with basic training in psychosocial counselling
A training course specialized on nutrition communication for young adolescents has been developed and established in cooperation with the department for social sciences of the UAS ST Pölten. The certification course “Youth Nutrition Mentor” is for people with basic training in psychosocial counselling. It started as a pilot project in the summer term 2017 with lectures at the University of Vienna (Nutrition Science) and at UAS St.Pölten (Health Sciences, Dietetics). The course is a long-term project and, therefore, a sustainable key factor regarding health literacy.