Innovative Approaches to Health Promotion

Two voulenteers from Neighbourhood Mothers

Target groups

Middle-aged and older women with ethnic minority background living in Copenhagen, Helsingør, Aarhus or Herning and volunteers from the association Neighbourhood Mothers.


The Danish Heart Foundation and Neighbourhood Mothers.


To develop and document an innovative health promotion intervention focusing at disseminating knowledge and building skills in heart healthy cooking for ethnic minority citizens.

Dialogue with the target group is a fundamental principle in the project "Heart healthy cooking” that introduces participants to heart healthy dietary choices based on their own traditional dishes. The traditional dishes were adapted in accordance with principles for heart healthy cooking by dieticians at the Heart Foundation in close collaboration with representatives of the target group. The new recipes are collected in a cook book. On instructor courses for Neighbourhood Mothers the principles were introduced. Thereafter, the Neighbourhood Mothers  conducted cooking evenings in different residential areas in their local area and in their native language.

Implementation and effects related to knowledge, skills and health behavior are investigated over time by researchers from Center for Healthy Aging using questionnaires in a variety of languages, participant observation and interviews with neighborhood mothers and participants in cooking evenings. This insight is disseminated widely to inspire others - volunteers, patient associations and professionals - on how to reach new groups in health promotion initiatives. The project thereby contributes to documenting and further developing health promotion through a close link between innovative practices and research for groups, groups that may otherwise be hard to include in health promotion activities.

The project is headed by Associate Professor and research group leader Maria Kristiansen. Project activities are funded by Trygfonden. The research in Center for Healthy Aging is supported by Nordea-fonden.