Article Text

Download PDFPDF

13 An innovative approach to the double-burden of malnutrition in Kolkata, India: medical college workshops and the piloting of a ‘mobile teaching kitchen’
  1. Luke Buckner1,
  2. Maria Korre1,2,
  3. Minha Rajput-Ray1,
  4. Sento Kargbo1,
  5. Sanchita Banerjee1,
  6. Debashis Chakraborty1 and
  7. Sumantra Ray1
  1. 1NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health in Cambridge, UK
  2. 2Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health


Background India suffers from significant undernourishment, alongside obesity at concerning levels. Both poor diet and health education contribute to this, we developed a pilot local capacity building research project to apply a novel intervention in line with the United Nations ‘Sustainable Development Goals’.

Methods Following NNEdPro’s key contributions to the ‘14th World Congress of Public Health’ in Kolkata (2015), a capacity building exercise was launched for healthcare professionals and students. 10 selected attendees became ‘NELICO (Nutrition Education and Leadership for Improved Clinical/Public Health Outcomes) Champions’ leading action research projects.

Project 1: Utilising ‘See one, Do one, Teach one’ education models, dietitians and volunteers transformed 12 slum-dwelling women into educators, teaching to prepare and cook nutritionally balanced, affordable and tasty template menus using local ingredients. The research team measured baseline and post-intervention nutritional status and knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of participants.

Project 2: Performed an interactive nutrition workshop at 2 Kolkata medical colleges, measuring KAP of students before and after.

Results Project 1: Increased nutritional KAP’s (p<0.05), specifically for ‘understanding healthy nutrition for children,’ ‘sources of protein’.

Project 2: Sub-analysis showed a significant increase (P<0.005) in participant Knowledge and Attitudes following the workshop (Pre-K+A (Mean ± SD) = 29.0 ± 6.1, Post-K+A = 29.5 ± 5.5), however the change in total KAP scores pre/post were not shown to be significantly different (P=0.39) with 37.5 ± 5.3 and 38.4 ± 8.5 respectively.

Conclusions Through interdisciplinary capacity building in educational research, this initiative demonstrates that, with guidance, local professionals and volunteers can make meaningful professional and community impacts. The Mobile Teaching Kitchen (MTK) initiative combines education, empowerment and inter-disciplinary capacity building in nutrition education by empowering some of the most marginalised members of society, who now are using these skills for food microenterprise alongside nutritional health education for the local population.

Key acknowledgements to the ‘Remedy clinic study group’ and ‘The Inner Wheel Club of Greater Calcutta’.

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.