Supporting nurses to adopt healthy eating behaviours
evidence and practice    

Supporting nurses to adopt healthy eating behaviours

Brian Power Lecturer in nutrition, Institute for Liver and Digestive Health, Royal Free Hospital Medical School, University College London, London, England; and honorary senior dietitian, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To improve your awareness of the link between healthy eating behaviours and nurses’ well-being and ability to provide effective patient care, advice and support

  • To understand the occupational and personal factors that may affect nurses’ ability to engage in healthy eating behaviours

  • To identify how healthcare organisations and individual nurses can optimise nutritional intake using a behavioural change approach

Nurses have a central role in health education and promotion, particularly with regard to supporting individuals to optimise their nutritional intake and engage in healthy eating behaviours. However, high rates of obesity, unhealthy eating behaviours and low levels of physical activity have been found among nurses. Nursing is a challenging profession, and a high workload, a lack of resources and shift work may affect nurses’ ability to adopt healthy lifestyles. Supporting nurses to improve aspects of their eating behaviours, such as the nutritional value, timing and frequency of meals, can have a positive effect on their health which, in turn, may enhance their ability to care for patients. Although there is much literature available on the benefits of healthy eating, there is a lack of practical guidance for nurses on how to enhance their nutritional intake. This article uses a case study to examine the occupational and personal factors that may affect nurses’ ability to engage in healthy eating behaviours, and identifies how healthcare organisations and individual nurses can use a behavioural change approach to optimise nutritional intake.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11188

Citation

Power B (2018) Supporting nurses to adopt healthy eating behaviours. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11188

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

brian.power@ucl.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 24 October 2018

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