Benefits of SWAP IT
Developed by researchers at the University of Newcastle, in conjunction with dietitians and health promotion experts, SWAP IT is an effective, low cost, evidence-based behavioural change program to improve children’s nutrition. SWAP IT supports parents and carers to improve children’s eating habits by ‘swapping out’ sometimes lunchbox foods for everyday alternatives.
SWAP IT Improves Children’s Nutrition
Research involving more than 40 Australian primary schools and over 6,000 children, found SWAP IT was effective in reducing the consumption of sometimes foods in children’s lunchboxes.
In schools who implemented SWAP IT, energy from sometimes foods decreased by an average of 117kJ per day (1). This equates to approximately 600 kilojoules per week, or the equivalent of one serve of sometimes foods, packed in children’s lunchboxes. Two thirds (66%) of parents and carers reported a change in their children’s eating habits following the introduction of SWAP IT at their school. The research proves SWAP IT is helping to reduce unhealthy foods in children’s lunchboxes and change eating habits.
The Impact of SWAP IT
The reduction of sometimes foods, as shown in the SWAP IT research trials, can lead to important benefits both individually and through the health system. Modelling has shown that by decreasing sometimes food consumption by 600 kilojoules a week, it can decrease the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and save the healthcare system up to $1.35 million (a year) (2).
Research on SWAP IT has shown:
See Current Research on SWAP IT
- Sutherland R, Brown A, Nathan N, Yoong S, Janssen L, Chooi A, et al. A Multicomponent mHealth-Based Intervention (SWAP IT) to Decrease the Consumption of Discretionary Foods Packed in School Lunchboxes: Type I Effectiveness–Implementation Hybrid Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. J Med Internet Res. 2021;23(6):e25256.
- Ma Y, He FJ, Yin Y, Hashem KM, MacGregor GA. Gradual reduction of sugar in soft drinks without substitution as a strategy to reduce overweight, obesity, and type 2 diabetes: a modelling study. The lancet Diabetes & endocrinology. 2016;4(2):105-14.