Posts By / Heather Hartwell

RKEO – Thank you

Image of Dr Heather HartwellI would like to publically thank, acknowledge and show my gratitude for the help and support from all those on the 4th floor of Melbury House.

We are extremely fortunate at Bournemouth in that we have a team who not only are extremely efficient at what they do but are always willing to help and as a bonus always with a good sense of humour.  Without this assistance and encouragement a wide range of activities from grant bidding, to public engagement, to publishing open access would be far more challenging.

So a big thank you to all, you are much appreciated.

Elevator Pitch – SFC Solutions for Chefs

So what started as a match funded PhD with Solutions for Chefs (SFC), an Austrian software company, has now developed into an exciting portfolio of activity.  Working with DEC we are going to apply for funding through The Global Innovation Initiative (GII) which is a shared commitment of the United Kingdom and the United States to strengthen research collaboration between universities in the UK, and the US. GII will award grants to university consortia focusing on interdisciplinary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-related issues of global significance that foster cutting-edge multinational research and strengthen international partnerships. We are proposing an innovative ICT solution to menu design that can be used as a catalyst for improving human health and wellbeing. This will then lead to an EU RISE bid in January 2015.

Bearing in mind Fusion, SFC have also agreed to sponsor a fourth year consultancy project and the visit this week by one of the partners was both inspirational and supportive of BU.

Sodexo Partners with Bournemouth University and Montclair State University (USA) on menu labelling

Montclair State University (MSU) is working with Sodexo on an international menu-labelling collaboration. Dr. Charles Feldman of MSU, Dr. Heather Hartwell of Bournemouth University in England, and Sodexo at MSU are researching the effectiveness of menu-board icons in promoting healthy-meal selections by students. The findings from this research are helping Sodexo design computer-aided menus with helpful nutrient information.

Based on the research, a prototype ‘traffic light system’ has been implemented at MSU on paper menus, and on menu boards to help students determine healthy and unhealthy options – red meaning less healthy, green meaning healthy, and yellow meaning an “okay” choice.  Menus designed to promote good nutrition may have the potential to encourage healthier decisions through hidden persuaders, without restricting students’ freedom of dietary choice.

This research relationship has also resulted in student exchange and virtual interactive lectures between the two institutions. Both USA and UK cohorts are able to see and interact with each other throughout the lecture and can ask questions and debate current food topics as though they were in the same room. However, it isn’t all about work and our students are able to find out more about being at Montclair and were especially interested in the Fraternities and Sororities (fraternal social organizations for undergraduate students).

It is the second time that the School of Tourism has hosted such an activity and is certainly something that we hope to repeat in the future.

Meeting the Dalai Lama

What a defining moment it was to be addressed by the Dalai Lama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and one of the world’s most popular spiritual leaders. The occasion was The Global Spa and Wellness Summit (GSWS) in New Delhi, where for the first time world-renowned tourism experts got together to discuss, define, and shape, the best strategies to grow, this new and emerging tourism sector.

The Global Spa & Wellness Summit (GSWS) is an international organization representing senior executives and leaders from over 40 countries, joined by a common interest to drive economic development and understanding of the spa and wellness industries. Delegates from diverse sectors, including hospitality, tourism, health and wellness, beauty, finance, medical, real estate, manufacturing and technology, attended the organization’s annual Summit, which is held in a different host country each year. Ministries of tourism and ambassadors were in Delhi to share their current strategies and future plans to attract more business and leisure wellness travellers; however academics were rather thin on the ground!

Personally and professionally it was the experience of a lifetime.

Erasmus funding opportunity

I have just benefited from an Erasmus mobility grant, allowing me to visit Aalborg University in Copenhagen.

The MENU (Meal Science & Public Health Nutrition) Research Group at Aalborg investigates everyday food and meal consumption, whether by individuals, communities or within wider populations. A particular research focus for MENU is addressing meals especially the environment of eating and public health nutrition.

As a group of researchers within this field The Foodservice and Applied Nutrition Research group in the School of Tourism at BU and MENU at Aalborg are a close community, where we can learn from each other and with each other to enhance both the student experience and the global research agendas within this field of expertise. 

I gave several lectures to Masters students and in addition, I gave a faculty lecture on ‘Publishing’, sharing with the audience my experience as Editor of Perspectives in Public Health.

It was interesting to see the facilities for food research at Aalborg and how these enhance the student experience. The research team MENU have invested in a FoodScape Lab (a living laboratory). This brand new installation allows a combination of  visual IT aided data collection (using NOLDUS FaceREader ® and Observer XT ®) with compatible food intake measurements from METTLER TOLEDO scales ®.  The visit to Aalborg also allowed me to collaborate with colleagues on a RISE bid, FoodSMART, which we will submit to Horizon 2020 and to discuss Aalborg hosting the International Conference on Culinary Arts and Sciences (ICCAS) 2017 of which I am chair.

So a very busy week but fruitful and inspirational and a funding scheme that I can highly recommend.

Impact revealed…




I just learnt the other day of an excellent example of some modest impact, which really made me feel that my work was worthwhile. It is so exciting when a student takes some theory and puts it into practice – successfully!

A few years ago I started researching menu description and menu engineering (publishing in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management), where I found that consumers are increasingly anxious to know where products have come from and how they are produced, satisfying the current “nostalgia” climate, which reminds of a time when “real”, “healthy”, “authentic”, “traceable” and “wholesome” were associated with food. I shared this information with participants on the School of Tourism CPD course and immediately Ben from The Drax Arms in Bere Regis put this theory into practice. Instead of sourcing his lamb for lamb burgers from a major supplier he made contact with his local farmer – wrote a story about this for his consumers to read and the burgers are now in his words ‘flying off the menu’. Based on the experience he is now actively sourcing other promising alliances.

This is a brilliant example of where research has impinged on practice and demonstrates the potential influential partnership between academics and the local business community.


Ben Holden, licensee of the Drax Arms is sponsored by regional brewer and pub operator Hall & Woodhouse Ltd. The CPD programme that Hall & Woodhouse students follow is designed to develop management and leadership skills consistent with the needs of a very dynamic and competitive brewing and pub operating industry. Upon completing the programme, students achieve a Certificate in Higher Education in Hospitality and Business Management and then progress to a Foundation degree as part of their ongoing personal development. For further information on School of Tourism CPD provision, contact Keith Hayman, (Head of CPD) .

Meet your Food – Drax Arms

Drax Arms are proud to be supporting local Dorset farmers and being that the Lamb for our Burgers are farmed 6.6 miles away, we thought we would share the secrets as to why Dorset Lamb is the best tasting in the world.

Sarah Clarke of Fishmore Hill Farm says our Dorset Lamb is especially good which we attribute to being able to enjoy a natural lifestyle grazing on the down land.

You can find out more information about the farm and also the picturesque surroundings for their B & B by visiting Fishmore Hill Farm

Launch of the Association for Nutrition’s Workforce Competence Model


As Chair of the Department of Health funded project, ‘Improving Capacity Confidence and Competence across the Workforce in Nutrition,’ I hosted, with others, the launch of the Association for Nutrition’s Workforce Competence Model: at the Royal Society, in London last week.   We should applaud our profession’s capacity to deliver such a high quality, large scale mass participation project, working across professional boundaries, to time and to budget; a project with enormous potential to influence change across the wider health & social care sector.

Nutrition has a critical role to play in tackling inequalities, especially in deprived communities at risk from poor intake and obesity. It is therefore essential that frontline workers operating in the most disadvantaged sectors of society can lead in reducing nutrition-related health inequalities by demonstrating their competence in communicating and delivering appropriate messages. The aim of the workforce model is to encourage high and consistent standards of education and training alongside robust support, recognition and progression mechanisms to ensure that the nutrition workforce is sufficiently developed and skilled to deliver the government’s targets for public health.   It was a proud moment for me.


Health, Wellbeing and Ageing – First Community Meeting

Dear all,      

Our first community meeting will be held on March 7th 10am – 1pm at the EBC, third floor. This is everyone’s opportunity to shape and frame the direction of the theme and therefore I would like to actively encourage everyone to attend.

I would also like to extend this invitation to all the post-grad students who have signed up; your input will be most valuable.

We have a lovely lunch booked

There are some key questions that we need to answer:


  •  Why it is important to society?


  • What BU has done to make improvements in this area?


  • What expertise and knowledge BU can provide for future collaborators, commercial partners, etc?


Your feedback would be really helpful and if you could email me your comments that would be brilliant:

With many thanks and see you in March,

 Heather, Edwin, Holgar and Carol


Health,Wellbeing and Ageing

Thank you to all those who supported the Health, Wellbeing and Ageing research theme at last week’s fusion day. There was some excellent discussion and guidance on how the theme should develop and please can we encourage a continued dialogue.
We have managed to secure some admin support and therefore soon we will be asking you for key words that you think best define your research area. We can then develop a tagged word cloud which will facilitate our understanding of who we are and enable emergence of potential themes of direction. These will be ‘tested’ with the community on April 18th when we will have another face to face fusion day.
Hope that you all have a lovely Christmas and see you in the New Year

Development of the health, wellbeing and ageing theme

Dear all,

I would really like to encourage full engagement with the fusion day on December 14. The development of the health, wellbeing and ageing theme is up to us – we can harness what we are good at and how research expertise knits together across the uni and present this as our BU interpretation. This is just the beginning and yes we will need a series of events to form together as a community – this will be one of the questions on Dec 14th – what now?

I feel that this theme has a very good pedigree with some excellent talent and is in the white hot area of the fusion triangle! – it is now giving it a voice and direction.

Heather Hartwell

BU staff making an impact with their publications

I am sure that you would wish to join with me in congratulating both Richard Shipway and Philippa Hudson from the School of Tourism on their papers being in the top 10 most downloaded papers in Perspectives in Public Health.

Together they have achieved 1,337 people who have looked at their work.

Richard’s paper is titled Sustainable legacies for the 2012 Olympic Games and is second in the table and Philippa’s Food safety issues and children’s lunchboxes is fourth in the table.

Well done to them! I was very proud in the meeting with Sage last week.

Dr Heather Hartwell  Honorary Editor


Tourism Week – Co-locating a tourism and public health strategy

There are new and exciting developments within the School of Tourism with ground breaking research identifying the fusion between recreation, leisure and wellbeing. The rationale for co-locating a tourism and public health strategy is based on the recognition that creating a community culture where a tourist destination is seen to enhance and promote physical and mental health for both locals and tourists is desirable. A community that supports health creation can be a re-branding opportunity within a destination management approach, dovetailing health and wellbeing alongside a marketing and economic positioning. The concept of wellness tourism is emerging and is an area where strategic priority is being given in many European destinations. It is estimated that the market is currently worth $106.0 globally1 with predictions of major growth in the coming 5-10 years2.

Figures show that there are about 289 million wellness consumers’1 and trends due to an aging world population, failing conventional medical systems and increased globalization will ensure continued growth. Policy documents from the WHO, Health 2020 and data from the British Leisure Trends and Slow Tourism Report, 2011, the World Travel Market Global Trends Report, 2010,  VisitBritain Foresight, 2010 plus the launch of the international trade alliance, Wellness Tourism Worldwide (2011) dedicated to the development and promotion of wellness tourism, all adds corroborating evidence of currency.

With much debate on aspects of wellbeing, social tourism and inclusion prevalent at both national and local levels, most notably in Bournemouth with the town’s 2026 vision group, there is momentum building in this area3. Promoting public health is a complex task but one than can be aided by other professionals. The whole can be greater than the sum of the parts and where a lack of co-ordination can bring confusion and disharmony. People do not lead their lives in a vacuum; we are all products of our culture, media influences, and the services we consume. There is a complex interrelationship between the individual and wider society, sometimes for good, but often leading to poor health. Much interest was stimulated by our appearance in the Big Ideas for the Future Report4, where Bournemouth University’s research linking tourism and public health was featured. We intend to capitalise on this interest particularly as it represents pan-School collaboration with the School of Health and Social Care and therefore builds on current strengths and expertise. The research output will be of interest to those responsible for policy, strategy and operational practice within the tourism industry and will lead to a greater understanding of this discipline engaging with the wellbeing agenda.  Consequently, the societal impact extends beyond a public health perspective to also impact the ability of destinations to leverage health creation in re-branding and marketing, a potential synergy that can contribute to both sustainable health and economic gain.


1SRI International (2010) Spas and the Global Wellness Market,  (accessed 07 September 2011)

 2 Wellness Tourism Worldwide (2011) Wellness for whom, where and what? Wellness Tourism 2020 (accessed 07 September 2011)

3 Hartwell H., (2011) Can we bring tourism and public health strategy together?, Guardian Professional, Thursday 28 July

4 Research Councils UK (RCUK) and Universities UK (2011)