Objectives: To examine the experiences of Aboriginal Australians with or at risk of diabetes who attended urban community cooking courses in 2002-2007; and to develop recommendations for increasing the uptake and effectiveness of nutrition education in Aboriginal communities.
Methods: Descriptive qualitative approach using semistructured interviews with 23 Aboriginal course participants aged 19-72. Verbatim transcripts were coded using NVivo 7 software, and qualitative analysis was undertaken.
Results: Engagement and learning were increased by emphasizing the social aspects of the program, holding the course in a familiar Aboriginal community-controlled health setting and using small group learning with Aboriginal peers. Partnership with a vocational training institute provided teaching expertise, but there was conflict between vocational and health promotion objectives.
Conclusions and implications: Nutrition programs for Aboriginal Australians should be social, flexible, and held in accessible, culturally appropriate settings and focus on healthful cooking techniques using simple, affordable ingredients.
Copyright © 2012 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.