Article

Curbing Portion Size Effects By Adding Smaller Portions At The Point Of Purchase

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Abstract

Point of purchase interventions may curb portion size effects and overconsumption by consumers. This study determines whether adding smaller portion sizes to a retailer's assortment unobtrusively encourages consumers to buy smaller portions. Therefore, a field experiment with meat sausage as focal product, was conducted over the course of a month in a branch of a large European retailer, generating receipts of each individual shopping trip. The product sales data revealed slightly more sales of the two smaller portions in terms of units (52%), versus the default, larger portion (48%), resulting in a pertinent reduction in total volumes sold in kg. Furthermore, a two-way ANOVA comparing sales at the individual level before and during the intervention for the experimental store versus eight control stores showed a reduction in the volume of meat sold during the intervention period in the experimental store. Moreover, the results of a one-way ANOVA indicated that smaller portion buyers do not compensate by buying more other products within the same product category. The finding that adding smaller portions to a default choice architecture can nudge consumers towards buying smaller sized items, has important implications for retailers and public policy makers involved in promoting healthy and sustainable consumer behavior.

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... Through the literature update process, we identified ten articles comprising 15 independent studies investigating default interventions aimed at reducing meat consumption (Campbell-Arvai et al., 2014;Gravert and Kurz, 2019;Hansen et al., 2019;Leenaert, 2012;Leidig, 2012;Lorenz-Walther et al., 2019;Reinders et al., 2017Reinders et al., , 2020Vandenbroele et al., 2018;Stewart et al., 2016). Fig. 2 illustrates the number of records included and excluded throughout the stages of the process. ...
... In a supermarket setting, Vandenbroele et al. (2018) [IID16] added two smaller portion size versions of meat sausages to the supermarket assortment with a reduction in meat portion size of 17% and 33% compared to the regular product version. Results showed that the additional portion sizes made up 52% of product sales during the treatment period and led to 13% less meat sold compared to the control. ...
... Beyond the study setting, attention is also likely to be moderated on an individual level. For example, in the study by Vandenbroele et al. (2018) [IID16], individuals' attention could have been on the intention to specifically purchase the targeted product. In contrast, the decision for or against the targeted product could have been only one of many decisions within a larger grocery shopping in the supermarket. ...
Article
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Meat consumption and production cause a significant share of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the food sector. Behavioural food policy suggests using defaults-i.e., pre-setting a specific choice option-as an effective demand-side instrument to reduce meat consumption. This systematic review compiles, critically appraises, and synthesises existing empirical evidence on defaults that aim to reduce meat consumption. Beyond that, the underlying mechanisms and potential effect moderators in this context are explored. Our synthesis includes twelve individual studies comprising sixteen different default interventions. Although the extent of evidence is limited, we assess the quality to be relatively good. We find that defaults are effective in nudging consumers to eat less meat; despite heterogeneity in the design and implementation of interventions, virtually all studies find the default to reduce meat consumption. Moreover, our explorative analysis provides insights into how the default works in this context. First, we suppose the default primarily operates through the underlying mechanisms of endorsement and effort. Second, we identify four contextual moderators-namely the default's inva-siveness, the recognisability and presentation of the alternative, and the objective of the study setting-that appear to influence the impact. We conclude that defaults are a promising tool for climate-sensitive food policy. Future research could verify and quantify the causal impact of mechanisms and moderators, and assess defaults' long-term and large-scale effectiveness.
... and p=0.008 respectively). D/P combination (Coucke et al., 2019;Vandenbroele et al., 2018) provided statistically significant results. Couke et al. (2019) increased sales of poultry by 13% (p<0.05) and decreased sales of other meats by 18% (p=0.001) via enhanced visibility and quantity of poultry available at a butcher's counter. ...
... When the intervention ceased, poultry sales decreased significantly (p 0.001). Vandenbroele et al. (2018) illustrated that altering the portion sizes of sausages (150g, 125g, 100g) increased the purchase of 125g and 100g portions marginally (52%), with no compensatory effect on customers purchasing extra portions of the same size (p=0.001). The intervention decreased overall meat (kg) purchased by 13%, however compensatory purchases of other meats did not differ amoung buyers of all portion sizes (p=0.62). ...
... Both Coucke et al. (2019) and Vandenbroele et al. (2018) provided statistically significant results for encouraging sustainable food choice (p 0.05 and p=0.001 respectively), however the studies lacked information on either sample size or duration. Vandenbroele et al. (2018) suggested that nudging consumers at point of purchase, rather than at moment of consumption, led to a 13% reduction in meat (kg) purchased and helped to change consumers purchase behaviour, concurring with previous research (Arno and Thomas, 2016;Vermeer et al., 2010). ...
Article
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As population growth continues, sustainable food behaviour is essential to help reduce the anthropogenic modification of natural systems, driven by food production and consumption, resulting in environmental and health burdens and impacts. Nudging, a behavioural concept, has potential implications for tackling these issues, encouraging change in individuals’ intentions and decision-making via indirect proposition and reinforcement; however, lack of empirical evidence for effectiveness and the controversial framework for ethical analysis create challenges. This systematic review evaluated the effectiveness of nudging interventions on sustainable food choices, searching five databases to identify the effectiveness of such interventions. Of the 742 identified articles, 14 articles met the eligibility criteria and were included in this review. Overall, the potential of certain nudging interventions for encouraging sustainable food choices were found in strategies that targeted ‘system 1’ thinking (automatic, intuitive and non-conscious, relying on heuristics, mental shortcuts and biases), producing outcomes which were more statistically significant compared to interventions requiring consumer deliberation. Gender, sensory influences, and attractiveness of target dishes were highlighted as pivotal factors in sustainable food choice, hence research that considers these factors in conjunction with nudging interventions is required.
... In this context, it seems relevant to study the effects of simple and operable changes to individual diets, such as changes to portion size. Indeed, portion sizes have been identified as acceptable and realistic levers to change consumption behavior (18)(19)(20). Furthermore, even if the introduction of new foods is acknowledged as a classic barrier to change, it is also well known to be an effective lever for the nutritional improvement in diets (21,22). ...
... Furthermore, the changes were based on modifications to portion sizes, which was acknowledged as being an acceptable lever to modify the dietary structure of the protein sources consumed (18,36,37). Experiments have shown that modifying the portion sizes of meat products can change the food behaviors of consumers without affecting their satisfaction (19) and without the need for any compensation (20). In S2, almost all of the increases in portion sizes actually consisted of introducing new foods from the cluster food repertoire. ...
Article
Background Patterns of protein food intake are undergoing a transition in Western countries, but little is known about how dietary changes to protein intake affect nutrient adequacy of the diet. Objectives Our objective was to identify simple modifications to protein food intake that can gradually increase overall nutrient adequacy. Methods We identified patterns of dietary protein intake in 1678 adults from a representative French national dietary survey. For each individual, we identified the increase in portion size of 1 protein food paired with a decrease in the portion size of another protein food that would best increase nutrient adequacy (using PANDiet probabilistic scoring). Then, such an optimum simple dual change was iterated 20 times for each individual according to 2 scenarios, either by manipulating the intake of foods already consumed [scenario 1 (S1)] or by enabling the introduction of foods consumed by >10% of individuals with the same protein pattern [scenario 2 (S2)]. Results The optimum stepwise changes to protein intake primarily consisted of reducing portions of deli meats (both scenarios), sandwiches, and cheese (S2), while increasing portions of fatty fish and lean poultry (both scenarios) and legumes (S2). However, these changes differed depending on the initial dietary protein pattern of the individual. For example, in S2, legume intake increased among “poultry” and “fish” eaters only and low-fat meat among “take-away eaters” and “milk drinkers” only. The improvements in overall nutrient adequacy were similar among the different initial dietary patterns, but this was the result of changes to the adequacy of different specific nutrients. Conclusion Beyond generic changes to protein intake in the entire French adult population, the initial dietary protein pattern is key to identifying the food groups most likely to improve overall nutrient adequacy and the profile of nutrients whose adequacy can easily be increased.
... Prior research on NEs in the food domain mainly focuses on coping with obesity and promoting healthy diets (Friis et al. 2017;Oullier et al. 2010;Schwartz 2007;Wansink 2004). Some research analyzes the effectiveness of single NEs focusing on the environmental dimension of food, including the NE default rules (Campbell-Arvai et al. 2014;Torma et al. 2018;Vandenbroele et al. 2018), changes to the physical environment (Vandenbroele et al. 2020;Wansink and Cheney 2005), simplification (also referred to priming or salience) (Bacon and Krpan 2018;Shearer et al. 2017), and social norms (Demarque et al. 2015;Kallbekken and Saelen 2013;Linder et al. 2018), however, focusing mainly on eating out or reducing food waste (Ferrari et al. 2019). These NEs furthermore have mostly been applied in an offline, physical context. ...
... It is based on the need for maintaining the status quo (Kahneman 2011), and the drive to procrastinate due to the dislike and time consumption of making active decisions (Sunstein 2014). Regarding default rules in food contexts, Campbell-Arvai et al. (2014) found evidence that default meat-free options promote the choice of vegetarian meals when eating out and Kallbekken and Saelen (2013), as well as Vandenbroele et al. (2018), demonstrated that reduced plate size leads to less food waste. ...
Conference Paper
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A major driver of global environmental challenges is our current food system. More sustainable practices on the supply side depend on pressure from the demand side: Every individual can contribute to a greener food system by making sustainable food choices. Digital nudging represents a promising approach to foster desirable consumer behavior. Research in the growing online food context is scarce and lacks a comparative analysis of digital nudging elements and their effectiveness regarding different consumer groups. We transferred three nudging elements to the digital choice environment of an online grocery store and conducted a field experiment with 291 participants. Parametric, nonparametric, regression, and cluster analyses showed that default rules are effective for a broad consumer base and simplification for environmentally-conscious consumers to promote ecologically sustainable behavior, while social norms had no effect. The results inform research and practice regarding the potential of digital nudging to foster ecologically sustainable food choices.
... Kurz (2018), for example, found that when the vegetarian option on a menu was made more visible (putting it on the counter where customers placed their order) sales of vegetarian dishes showed a small but significant increase relative to baseline. Altering the availability or portion size is another form of Vandenbroele et al. (2018) found that adding smaller portion sizes to a retailer's assortment reduced the total volume of meat sold, relative to a control retailer. ...
... Nudging interventions have some potential to encourage sustainable food choices. Increasing the availability of vegetarian dishes was shown to be effective (Garnett et al., 2019) and so was a reduction in portion sizes of meat (Vandenbroele et al., 2018). However, a "dish of the day" approach seemed ineffective (Zhou et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Food choices are difficult to change. People’s individual motivations (such as taste, cost, and food preferences) can be at odds with the negative environmental outcomes of their food choices (such as deforestation, water pollution, and climate change). How then can people be encouraged to adopt more sustainable food choices? This rapid review uses a dual-processing framework of decision-making to structure an investigation of the effectiveness of interventions to encourage sustainable food choices (e.g., local and organic food consumption, reducing meat and dairy intake, reducing food waste) via voluntary behavior change. The review includes interventions that rely on fast, automatic decision-making processes (e.g., nudging) and interventions that rely on more deliberate decision-making (e.g., information provision). These interventions have varying degrees of success in terms of encouraging sustainable food choices. This mini-review outlines some of the ways in which our understanding of sustainable food choices could be enhanced. This includes a call for the inclusion of possible moderators and mediators (past behavior, attitudes, beliefs, values) as part of effect measurements, because these elucidate the mechanisms by which behavior change occurs. In light of the climate change challenge, studies that include long-term effect measurements are essential as these can provide insight on how to foster sustained and durable changes.
... Two studies were categorized as size nudges [74,75]. In these studies, increasing the portion size of an entrée [74] and decreasing the portion size of sausages [75], was associated with increased energy intake and decreased meat purchases, respectively. ...
... Two studies were categorized as size nudges [74,75]. In these studies, increasing the portion size of an entrée [74] and decreasing the portion size of sausages [75], was associated with increased energy intake and decreased meat purchases, respectively. Two studies described the effects of a functionality nudge [76]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Adults with a low socioeconomic position (SEP) are more likely to engage in unhealthy diets as compared to adults with high SEP. However, individual-level educational interventions aiming to improve food choices have shown limited effectiveness in adults with low SEP. Environmental-level interventions such as nudging strategies however, may be more likely to benefit low SEP groups. We aimed to review the evidence for the effectiveness of nudges as classified according to interventions in proximal physical micro-environments typology (TIPPME) to promote healthy purchases, food choice, or affecting energy intake or content of purchases, within real-life food purchasing environments. Second, we aimed to investigate the potentially moderating role of SEP. Methods: We systematically searched PubMed, EMBASE, and PsycINFO until 31 January 2018. Studies were considered eligible for inclusion when they i) complied with TIPPME intervention definitions; ii) studied actual purchases, food choice, or energy intake or content of purchases, iii) and were situated in real-life food purchasing environments. Risk of bias was assessed using a quality assessment tool and evidence was synthesized using harvest plots. Results: From the 9210 references identified, 75 studies were included. Studies were generally of weak to moderate quality. The most frequently studied nudges were information (56%), mixed (24%), and position nudges (13%). Harvest plots showed modest tendencies towards beneficial effects on outcomes for information and position nudges. Less evidence was available for other TIPPME nudging interventions for which the harvest plots did not show compelling patterns. Only six studies evaluated the effects of nudges across levels of SEP (e.g., educational level, food security status, job type). Although there were some indications that nudges were more effective in low SEP groups, the limited amount of evidence and different proxies of SEP used warrant caution in the interpretation of findings. Conclusions: Information and position nudges may contribute to improving population dietary behaviours. Evidence investigating the moderating role of SEP was limited, although some studies reported greater effects in low SEP subgroups. We conclude that more high-quality studies obtaining detailed data on participant's SEP are needed. Registration: This systematic review is registered in the PROSPERO database ( CRD42018086983 ).
... Some research analyzes the effectiveness of single NEs focusing on the environmental dimension of food, including the NE default rules (Campbell-Arvai et al., 2014;Torma et al., 2018;Vandenbroele et al., 2018), changes to the physical environment (Vandenbroele et al., 2020;Wansink & Cheney, 2005), simplification (also referred to priming or salience) (Bacon & Krpan, 2018;Shearer et al., 2017), and social norms (Demarque et al., 2015;Kallbekken & Saelen, 2013;Linder et al., 2018), however, focusing mainly on eating out or reducing food waste (Ferrari et al., 2019). These NEs furthermore have mostly been applied in an offline, (Benartzi & Lehrer, 2017;Weinmann et al., 2016). ...
... It is based on the need for maintaining the status quo (Kahneman, 2011), and the drive to procrastinate due to the dislike and time consumption of making active decisions (Sunstein, 2014). Regarding default rules in food contexts, Campbell-Arvai et al. (2014) found evidence that default meat-free options promote the choice of vegetarian meals when eating out and Kallbekken and Saelen (2013), as well as Vandenbroele et al. (2018), demonstrated that reduced plate size leads to less food waste. ...
Thesis
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Digitalization has long since entered and transformed our professional lives, our interaction with companies, and our private lives. With the progress in digitalization in general and of individuals in particular, both opportunities and challenges arise. Digitalization represents a double-edged sword, with its vast potential on the one end and a number of risks and detrimental effects for individuals, such as technostress, on the other. Individuals need to navigate the opportunities provided by digitalization, as well as its risks, in all areas of their lives. Addressing digitalization in a way that is in the best interest of individuals requires a thorough understanding of developments, challenges, and possible interventions and solutions. Matt et al. (2019) propose a framework for studying the digitalization of individuals, which represents a holistic approach to structure, classify, and position research along different roles of individuals from a comprehensive set of research angles. By applying this framework as a guiding structure, this dissertation aims to advance knowledge for an improved, safer, and more deliberate navigation of digitalization for individuals in their roles as employees, customers, and themselves from the research angles design, behavior, and consequences. While building on and integrating qualitative research methods such as literature analysis and expert interviews, this dissertation mainly relies on the collection of empirical data and their quantitative analysis. This comprises several small- and large-scale surveys and field experiments, as well as analytical methods such as structural equation modeling, regression analysis, and cluster analysis. Chapter 2 of this dissertation discusses the digitalization of individuals in their role as employees. Chapter 2.1 covers workplace design in terms of equipment with digital workplace technologies (DWTs) and the user behavior of employees. It determines which DWTs exist and are used by individual employees in a comprehensive and structured fashion. Contributing to a deeper understanding of workplace digitalization, chapter 2.1 also demonstrates and elaborates how this overview of DWTs represents a basis for individualized digital work design as well as adequate interventions. Chapter 2.2 deals with the consequences of DWT user behavior. It focuses on the relationship between workplace digitalization, the negative consequence technostress, and possible countermeasures termed “technostress inhibitors.” By enabling a more detailed understanding of the underlying mechanisms as well as evaluating the effects of countermeasures, chapter 2.2 discusses the overall finding that workplace digitalization increases technostress. The dynamics of its different components and technostress inhibitors, however, require individual consideration at a more detailed level, as the interrelationships are not consistently intuitive. In chapter 3, the focus changes to individuals in their role as customers. As a response to increasing data collection by companies as well as increasing data privacy concerns of customers, chapter 3.1 focuses on the identification of a comprehensive list of data privacy measures that address these concerns. Furthermore, it is identified that the implementation of some of these measures would lead to increased customer satisfaction, demonstrating that there is an upside to data privacy for companies and that mutually beneficial outcomes for both involved parties are conceivable. Chapter 3.2 analyzes whether and how digital nudging can be applied to influence customers’ online shopping behavior towards the selection of more environmentally sustainable products in online supermarkets and how this influence differs with respect to individual customer characteristics. It determines the digital nudging element “default rules” to be generally effective and “simplification” to be effective among environmentally conscious customers. On a macro level, the findings contribute to a safer environment in which individuals live their lives, while at the individual level, they foster decision-making quality and health. Chapter 4 highlights the digitalization of individuals themselves. Chapter 4.1 deals with the design of a habit-tracking app that offers users autonomy in their goal-directed behavior. It is found that the provision of autonomy enhances well-being. Its exercise improves performance, which in turn positively affects well-being. Chapter 4.1 thus contributes insights into how digital technologies can foster the flourishing of users. As a summary, this dissertation aims to provide research and practice with contributions to a deeper understanding of how individuals as employees, customers, and themselves can successfully navigate digitalization.
... Numerous techniques are, thus, available to nudge consumers towards purchasing more sustainable food (Thaler and Sunstein, 2009;Vandenbroele et al., 2020). Previous research has mainly revealed shortterm effects of in-store nudges, leaving the question of potential longterm effects of these nudges unanswered (Vandenbroele et al., 2018;Vandenbroele et al., 2020). To our knowledge, research on long-term effectiveness of in-store nudges is non-existent and, furthermore, research on the long-term effects of nudging in other contexts is scarce. ...
Article
Full-text available
European livestock systems are characterised by high meat production to accommodate high consumer demands and global prices. The production of meat, especially meat from highly intensive livestock farming, requires many resources and is inconsistent with sustainability and climate objectives. Unsustainable livestock production heavily impacts regulatory and supporting ecosystem services, which makes the meat production system a key driver of global environmental change. Lowering consumers’ demand for meat could improve the sustainability of agricultural ecosystems. To realize this transition, meat can be substituted with meat imitating plant-based alternatives; production of these substitutes has a lower carbon footprint, needs less land and uses less water compared to regular meat production. Retailers can facilitate this shift by redesigning their stores to nudge consumers towards these substitutes. The goal of this study was to analyse whether nudging techniques can increase sales of plant-based meat substitutes in a supermarket environment. We combined two nudging techniques into one intervention: (1) adding meat substitutes in the butchery section, (2) and placing them next to their equivalent meat products. Results show a significant increase of 67% in meat substitute sales when the nudging intervention was present whereas sales in the control supermarkets (without nudging intervention) did not change during the intervention period. Once the intervention was removed, sales dropped again. Future research should investigate which factors influence the transition from short-term nudging effects towards long-term behaviour change. We discuss the role of nudging as a strategy to reduce negative impacts of the livestock production systems on ecosystem services.
... Apart from typical communication, nudging may be an effective way to make health goals more salient or steer consumers to unobtrusively make healthier food choices during their purchase [44,45]. In parallel, product reformulations can also help to change the possible negative association between healthiness and tastiness [46]. ...
Article
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Despite the fact that front-of-pack nutrition labels such as health claims and symbols have received growing attention in consumer behavior research, comprehensive conclusions could not yet be drawn to develop concrete policy actions, owing to the complexity of the subject and a constantly changing market environment. In this study, evidence-based policy recommendations and communication guidelines have been derived from the findings of the EU FP7 project CLYMBOL (“Role of health-related CLaims and sYMBOLs in consumer behavior”, Grant Agreement 311963), and have been evaluated and prioritized by European stakeholders using a three-round Delphi method. A moderate level of consensus was achieved and results suggest that policy priority should focus on ways to improve consumer motivation and interest in healthy eating. Consumers’ interest in healthy eating could be increased by adopting appropriate communication strategies such as using innovative ways to communicate the importance of healthy eating, which may aim to change the possible negative association between healthiness and tastiness. The highest-rated finding was related to consumers’ favorable attitude towards health claims with shorter and less complex messages and health symbols with a visible endorsement. Meanwhile, there was a clear consensus that health claims need to be scientifically substantiated and credible but phrased without using overly complex scientific wordings, in order to be meaningful for consumers. Furthermore, stakeholders from academia and industry believe that consumer awareness about existing health claims should be increased. The identified policy recommendations and communication guidelines stem from recent empirical evidence and provide useful insights that guide future policy development aligning consumer protection issues as well as public health and food marketing communication interests.
... The effect of portion size was investigated in Vandenbroele, Slabbinck, Van Kerckhove, and Vermeir (2018), where smaller portions were added to a retailer's assortment of sausages. Purchases data were recorded and, at the end of the experiment, a consistent reduction in volumes in kilograms sold was documented. ...
Article
Food marketing strategies constantly use trendy messages, novel displays, colourful floor decals, compelling store arrangements and other environmental triggers to exploit consumers; nudges hold the promise to adopt the same interventions to increase healthier choices. The purpose of this systematic review is to frame the state of the art and research gaps on nudging interventions aimed at increasing healthy food choice. Thirty-six articles reporting reviews or empirical studies performed between 2016 and 2018 were analysed. Over 80% of the reviewed empirical research reported positive outcomes. The work provides insights to further analyse the most promising approaches and critically discusses the core shortcomings of available studies. Finally, future research avenues are highlighted as the need for more replications and scalability of interventions.
... First, the total amount of meat consumed can be lowered. This could be achieved be offering smaller portions of meat to consumers [19,20] or by offering more vegetarian alternatives. For consumers, however, eating less or even no meat at all could be a huge step to take and can be a very difficult cultural habit to break [4,6]. ...
Article
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Visual cues are omnipresent in an in-store environment and can enhance the visibility of a product. By using these visual cues, policy makers can design a choice environment to nudge consumers towards more sustainable consumer behavior. In this study, we use a combined nudge of display area size and quantity of displayed products to nudge consumers towards more sustainable meat choices. We performed a field experiment of four weeks in a butchery, located in a supermarket. The size of the display area and quantity of displayed poultry products, serving as the nudging intervention, were increased, whereas these were decreased for less sustainable meat products. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of our nudging intervention, we also collected data from a control store and performed a pre-and post-intervention measurement. We kept records of the sales data of the sold meat (amount of weight & revenue). When conducting a three-way ANOVA and post hoc contrast tests, we found that the sales of poultry increased during the nudging intervention, but did not decrease for less sustainable meat products. When removing the nudge again, the sales of poultry decreased again significantly in the experimental store. Changing the size of display area and the amount of products displayed in this display area created a shift in the consumers’ purchase behavior of meat.
... Previous research has already shown how different presentation modes of food can help consumers to actually make less unhealthy food choices, such as placing smaller portion sizes next to the regular sizes (Vandenbroele et al., 2018), presenting unhealthy foods near the entrance of a store instead of the end (Verstraeten & Geuens, 2019), and presenting food online versus offline (Huyghe et al., 2017). However, when it comes to an important display mode for food, namely pictures, no research has looked at whether it matters how food is presented within a picture. ...
Article
Consumers choose less unhealthy food when seeing pictures of food shot in a top perspective vs. a diner’s eye perspective. These two commonly used perspectives in food pictures respectively show the food vertically downwards, or mimic the viewing point of a person sitting at a table, looking at the food in front of them on the table. Although both perspectives are frequently used in food pictures, consumers are more used to seeing their food from a diner’s eye perspective. We show that lower familiarity with seeing food in top perspective (vs. diner’s eye perspective) decreases product vividness and subsequently lowers consumers’ need for instant gratification. Hence, less unhealthy food is chosen.
... Results showed that the idea of changing portion sizes and replacing meat with vegetables was widely accepted among consumers (Spencer, Kurzer, Cienfuegos, & Guinard, 2018) although the degree of this acceptability seemed to depend on consumers' taste preferences . Reducing the portion size of meat was also found to be effective in a supermarket setting, where offering a smaller portion of meat products decreased overall meat sales, because consumers tended to buy the smaller portion (Vandenbroele, Slabbinck, Van Kerckhove, & Vermeir, 2018). ...
Article
A reduction of meat consumption and shift to plant-based diets, especially in industrialized countries, is acknowledged as crucial for reaching climate targets, addressing public health problems, and protecting animal welfare. While scholarly research distilled drivers of meat consumption and barriers to its reduction, insights into the effectiveness of measures to initiate such a profound change in consumer behaviour are relatively scarce. This paper presents a systematic literature review on consumption-side interventions in the context of meat consumption across scholarly disciplines. Our analysis confirms that existing research predominantly assessed interventions addressing personal factors of behavioural change such as knowledge and emotions. Whether these interventions are effective depends on whether information (i) is provided on health, animal welfare or environmental effects, (ii) is emotionally or cognitively framed, and (iii) is aligned with consumers' information needs. Moreover, linking meat to living animals or to the humanness of animals activates negative emotions and, thus, reduces meat consumption. Further, increasing the visibility and variety of vegetarian dishes in food environments decreases meat-eating. Also, educational courses on how to shop and cook vegetarian food are effective in reducing meat consumption. There is less evidence on the effectiveness of interventions addressing socio-cultural factors such as social norms. Regarding future research directions, existing research mainly investigated the influence of interventions on attitudes and behavioural intentions. Hence, there is still a need for studies to assess more long-term effects of intervention measures on actual meat consumption and their potential to initiate fundamental changes in dietary habits.
... Another way to encourage smaller portions is offering them next to default larger portion sizes, which significantly nudged customers in a cafeteria to switch from a larger to a smaller portion size (30) . A field experiment (203) found that adding two smaller portions of meat sausage units next to the default portion size unobtrusively encouraged customers to buy smaller units. During a 1-month intervention period, more than half the units sold (52 %) were smaller portions than the default larger portion size, which established a decrease in meat volume of 13 % if all units sold would have been the default size. ...
Article
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Food production is one of the major contributors to environmental damage. Adaptations in our food choices are needed to preserve resources for the needs of future generations. More sustainable consumption patterns have been encouraged by economic incentives, laws, education and communication campaigns. Nonetheless, consumers still find difficulties in trying to change their current food habits. This review takes a behavioural approach in encouraging sustainable food choices among consumers. From a nudging perspective, many behavioural changes can be encouraged in a non-obtrusive way by adapting the complex food environment in which consumers are operating. These interventions do not restrict consumers' choices but rather adapt the choice architecture wherein food decisions are made. Drawing on the literature from diverse theoretical perspectives, we provide an overview of the application of nudging for more sustainable food choices and highlight where more research is needed. More specifically, we discuss research that used nudging to engender cognitive impact (i.e. the use of labels or visibility enhancements), affective responses (i.e. sensorial and social influence cues) and behavioural effects (i.e. adjustments in convenience and product size). We conclude that this review only shows the tip of the iceberg of the research on nudging and sustainable consumption that is likely forthcoming in the next few years, following the successes of nudging applications in other domains. Nonetheless, each individual nudging intervention requires careful examination. Personal predispositions towards the environment should be considered when designing interventions, demonstrating the complementarity of nudging with education on sustainable consumption.
... Several studies have shown the effectiveness of nudging interventions to steer individuals to more ESFC (Ferrari et al., 2019), for example, by decreasing portion sizes of less sustainable meat (Vandenbroele et al., 2018), or by increasing visibility of meat substitutes (Vandenbroele et al., 2020a) or more sustainable meat (Coucke et al., 2019). Nudges for ESFC at the point of purchase can be categorized according to whether the nudge exerts an influence on consumers' cognition (i.e., consumer knowledge), affect (i.e., consumers' feelings) or behavior (i.e., motor responses) (Cadario and Chandon, 2019), as reviewed in Vandenbroele et al. (2020b). ...
Article
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The challenge of convincing people to change their eating habits toward more environmentally sustainable food consumption (ESFC) patterns is becoming increasingly pressing. Food preferences, choices and eating habits are notoriously hard to change as they are a central aspect of people’s lifestyles and their socio-cultural environment. Many people already hold positive attitudes toward sustainable food, but the notable gap between favorable attitudes and actual purchase and consumption of more sustainable food products remains to be bridged. The current work aims to (1) present a comprehensive theoretical framework for future research on ESFC, and (2) highlight behavioral solutions for environmental challenges in the food domain from an interdisciplinary perspective. First, starting from the premise that food consumption is deliberately or unintentionally directed at attaining goals, a goal-directed framework for understanding and influencing ESFC is built. To engage in goal-directed behavior, people typically go through a series of sequential steps. The proposed theoretical framework makes explicit the sequential steps or hurdles that need to be taken for consumers to engage in ESFC. Consumers need to positively value the environment, discern a discrepancy between the desired versus the actual state of the environment, opt for action to reduce the experienced discrepancy, intend to engage in behavior that is expected to bring them closer to the desired end state, and act in accordance with their intention. Second, a critical review of the literature on mechanisms that underlie and explain ESFC (or the lack thereof) in high-income countries is presented and integrated into the goal-directed framework. This contribution thus combines a top-down conceptualization with a bottom-up literature review; it identifies and discusses factors that might hold people back from ESFC and interventions that might promote ESFC; and it reveals knowledge gaps as well as insights on how to encourage both short- and long-term ESFC by confronting extant literature with the theoretical framework. Altogether, the analysis yields a set of 33 future research questions in the interdisciplinary food domain that deserve to be addressed with the aim of fostering ESFC in the short and long term.
... Met de oprichting van een Team Gedragsinzichten binnen de Vlaamse Overheid komt sinds 2017 een bescheiden institutionele inhaalbeweging op gang . Verder vervullen een aantal grootschalige samenwerkingsprojecten tussen administratie en wetenschap een belangrijke pioniersrol, zoals de experimenten van de FOD Financiën rond de aanmaningsbrief of het onderzoek van het Vlaamse Departement Omgeving naar groenere en gezondere voedselconsumptie (De Neve et al., 2019;Vandenbroele et al., 2018). ...
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Theorieën en methoden uit de gedragswetenschappen betreden steeds nadrukkelijker de beleidsscene. Gedragsinzichten en nudging beloven beleid te verrijken en te versterken. Het begin van deze gedragswetenschappelijke omslag of behavioural turn laat men doorgaans samenvallen met de publicatie van het boek Nudge van Richard Thaler en Cass Sunstein in 2008. In dit artikel plaatsen we nudging in perspectief en argumenteren we dat het concept zowel een zegen als een vloek betekent, en zowel een katalysator als een rem is voor de bredere toepassing en verankering van gedragsinzichten in beleid. Ondanks het aantrekkelijke narratief botst nudging op functionele limieten en ethische bezwaren. Om de gedragswetenschappelijke, experimentele en evidence-based beleidsbeloften alsnog in te lossen, zien we een strategie van steeds verdere verbreding. Het programma van de Behavioural Insights-beweging op basis van vijf pijlers leek in eerste instantie een oplossing te bieden, maar kampt door een eendimensionale interpretatie met interne spanningen. De nog bredere en ambitieuzere Behavioural Public Policy-agenda biedt nieuwe perspectieven, maar moet op functioneel en ethisch vlak nog verder onderbouwd worden.
... Two public health strategies are often adopted to reduce meat intake: encouraging the replacement of meat with plant protein or encouraging a downsizing of portions [12]. Both strategies have been found to be effective in reducing meat purchases or consumption during experimental studies [11,13]. However, most studies based on self-reported data have shown that portion downsizing was more acceptable than replacing meat [14], even if both strategies are acknowledged as being complementary, as it has also been shown that individuals who consume meat less frequently consume smaller portions [12,15]. ...
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Promoting a more balanced animal/plant dietary protein ratio by changing portion sizes or introducing new foods is a promising means to improve diet quality, but little is known about the willingness of individuals to adopt such changes. Our objective was to assess the willingness to adopt dietary changes by these means. In a French cross-sectional study in 2018 (n = 2055), we analyzed the association between the willingness to eat smaller or larger portions or to introduce non-consumed protein foods and the current dietary patterns of individuals and their socio-demographic characteristics. These modifications had previously been identified as improving the nutrient adequacy of diets. Participants were more willing to eat smaller portion sizes than to introduce new foods and to eat larger portion sizes. The willingness for any modification varied depending on the food groups concerned. Participants were also more willing to eat larger portions and less willing to eat smaller portions when they were the most frequent consumers of the foods concerned. Participants were more willing to eat a new food if it was consumed in large quantities by individuals with a similar dietary pattern. This study underlines the importance of accounting for individual food habits when issuing nutritional recommendations.
... Most (69%) studies were from the USA. The remainder were from (descending order of proportion) Netherlands (6%) [38][39][40][41][42], UK (6%) [43, 44, 45••, 46-47], Australia (5%) [48][49][50][51], Canada (5%) [52][53][54][55], Denmark (3%) [56][57][58], Finland (2%) [59,60], Sweden (1%), Belgium (1%) [61], Japan (1%) [62], and Norway (1%) [63]. ...
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Purpose of Review Update the state of evidence on the effectiveness of retail food environment interventions in influencing diet and explore the underlying role of public policy, through a systematic review of population-level interventions to promote health in the retail food environment, including community and consumer environments. Diet-related outcomes included purchasing, dietary intakes, diet quality, and health including weight. We coded studies for enabling public policy levers underpinning the intervention, using two widely used conceptual frameworks. Recent Findings Of 86 articles (1974–2018), the majority (58 articles, 67%) showed at least one positive effect on diet. Thirteen articles (15%) discussed natural experiments, 27 articles (31%) used a design involving comparison groups including 23 articles (27%) specifically describing randomized controlled trials, and 46 (53%) were quasi-experimental (cross-sectional) evaluations. Across the “4Ps” of marketing (product, promotion, placement, and price), promotion comprised the greatest proportion of intervention strategies, especially in earlier literature (pre-2008). Few studies combined geographic access interventions with 4P strategies, and few used robust dietary intake assessments. Behavior change communication remains an intervention mainstay, but recent work has also incorporated environmental and social planning, and fiscal strategies. More recent interventions were multi-component. Summary The retail food environment intervention literature continues to grow and has become more robust overall, with clearer evidence of the effect of interventions on diet-related outcomes, including consumer purchasing, dietary intakes, and health. There is still much scope for development in the field. Attention to enabling public policy could help to strengthen intervention implementation and evaluation in the retail food environment.
... Of the few field experiments that apply nudging principles to embrace sustainable purposes (Szaszi, Palinkas, Palfi, Szollosi, & Aczel, 2017), studies have investigated interventions such as relying on social norms to encourage people to reduce their water and energy consumption in households and hotels (Allcott, 2011;Goldstein, Cialdini, & Griskevicius, 2008), offering smaller portions of meat in grocery stores (Vandenbroele, Slabbinck, Van Kerckhove, & Vermeir, 2018), and reducing the accessibility of printers in offices (Egebark & Ekström, 2016). We advance such efforts by applying nudging in a food retail setting to encourage sales of meat substitutes. ...
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Context: Most dietary assessment methods are limited by self-report biases, how long they take for participants to complete, and cost of time for dietitians to extract content. Electronically recorded, supermarket-obtained transactions are an objective measure of food purchases, with reduced bias and improved timeliness and scale. Objective: The use, breadth, context, and utility of electronic purchase records for dietary research is assessed and discussed in this systematic review. Data sources: Four electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Global Health) were searched. Included studies used electronically recorded supermarket transactions to investigate the diet of healthy, free-living adults. Data extraction: Searches identified 3422 articles, of which 145 full texts were retrieved and 72 met inclusion criteria. Study quality was assessed using the National Institutes of Health Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies. Data analysis: Purchase records were used in observational studies, policy evaluations, and experimental designs. Nutrition outcomes included dietary patterns, nutrients, and food category sales. Transactions were linked to nutrient data from retailers, commercial data sources, and national food composition databases. Conclusion: Electronic sales data have the potential to transform dietary assessment and worldwide understanding of dietary behavior. Validation studies are warranted to understand limits to agreement and extrapolation to individual-level diets. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO registration no. CRD42018103470.
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Background Facilitating a transition to more plant-based and less animal-based diets would strongly alleviate the environmental impact of food, while plant-based diets can also decrease the health risks of excess meat consumption. So far, little is known about which underlying determinants can most effectively steer consumers to more healthy and/or sustainable food consumption. Gaining more knowledge about underlying determinants gives more insight into why certain interventions are effective or not in promoting healthy and/or sustainable food consumption among consumers. Scope and approach In this systematic review real-life behavioural interventions are investigated that aim to promote more plant-based and/or less animal-based food consumption among consumers. The review focuses specifically on the interventions’ targeted determinants. In total, 48 articles (51 studies) are included in this review. Key findings and conclusions The findings indicate that targeting individual determinants (such as increasing consumers’ level of self-regulation) or environmental determinants (such as modifying portion sizes) is relatively effective to promote more plant-based and less animal-based food consumption. Almost all included studies that aimed to increase plant-based food consumption focus on fruit and vegetables. This implies a need for future real-life intervention studies to focus on plant-based food consumption other than fruit and vegetables, such as legumes or whole grains. Also, relatively few real-life intervention studies have been conducted that focus on a decrease in animal-based food consumption, either separately or in combination with increasing plant-based food consumption. This review is registered with PROSPERO - CRD42019125314.
Thesis
Dans les pays occidentaux, la consommation de protéines animales, majoritaire, diminue depuis une décennie. Elle est, dans la majorité des cas, associée négativement à différents paramètres de durabilité, et les études modélisant des régimes durables ont montré que les différents paramètres n’étaient pas toujours compatibles. Des régimes améliorant largement différents paramètres de durabilité ont été modélisés, mais la prise en compte de l’acceptabilité culturelle est insuffisante et nécessite des approfondissements. L’objectif de cette thèse était de modéliser des trajectoires acceptables de réarrangement de la consommation de sources protéiques pour augmenter l’adéquation nutritionnelle et d’en évaluer les impacts sur la durabilité. L’étude des consommations de sources de protéines en France a permis de conclure que les apports en protéines sont adéquats pour l’ensemble de la population, mais qu’il existe différents profils de consommation protéique, caractérisés par des niveaux de sécurité nutritionnelle différents. Une étude réalisée en 2018 a permis d’établir que les niveaux de consommation de viande étaient prédits par les attitudes, les normes sociales, et l’auto-efficacité perçue vis-à-vis de la réduction de la consommation de viande. Pour les travaux de modélisation pas-à-pas de l’alimentation, il a été considéré acceptable pour un individu de consommer un nouvel aliment, si celui-ci était largement consommé par des individus au profil de consommation protéique similaire. Cette hypothèse a été validée par une enquête en 2018. Les travaux de modélisation ont permis d’identifier que certaines recommandations alimentaires étaient efficaces pour l’ensemble de la population, mais que d’autres étaient spécifiques à certains profils de consommation protéique, caractérisés par des profils nutritionnels et des répertoires alimentaires spécifiques. Enfin, des modèles ont permis d’identifier que viser systématiquement plus de protéines végétales lors des premières modifications diététiques permet, malgré une adéquation nutritionnelle légèrement plus faible, d’obtenir de meilleurs paramètres de durabilité.
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This paper focuses on policies that are enlightened by behavioural insights (BIs), taking decision-makers’ biases and use of heuristics into account and utilising a people-centric perspective and full acknowledgement of context dependency. Considering both the environmental and pandemic crises, it sketches the goal of resilient food systems and describes the contours of behavioural food policy. Conceptually built on BIs derived from behavioural economics, consumer research and decision science, such an approach systematically uses behavioural policies where appropriate and most cost-effective. BI informed tools (nudges) can be employed as stand-alone instruments (such as defaults) or used to improve the effectiveness of traditional policy tools.
Chapter
Increased globalisation, urbanisation, and a growing middle class in developing countries significantly impact food sustainability, especially within the livestock industry. The way meat is produced, processed, transported and consumed has an immense effect on environmental sustainability. From an environmental perspective, it is vital to understand better how consumers can be motivated to restrict meat consumption, particularly in non-Western countries where this area is less explored. The current study proposes a model for an emerging economy, Pakistan, where meat consumption has increased rapidly. The empirical study employed the Theory of Planned Behaviour, integrating pro-environmental attitude, perceived behaviour control and collectivist culture, to investigate sustainable meat consumption intentions (SMCI) grounded in a specific context. Data were collected from 300 meat consumers and analysed through a two-step structural equation modelling (SEM) approach, i.e. measurement and structural models. Results reported that perceived behaviour control and collectivistic culture positively influence SMCI, and the model is partially mediated through pro-environmental attitude. The study findings can help managers and policymakers to understand consumer intentions and develop actionable strategies.
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Background The concept of nudging has been imported from behavioral economics into the public health context to correct 'unhealthy behaviours' and produce health-promoting behavior changes in individuals. However, there is lack of clarity as to what constitutes a nudge and whether nudging techniques in public health lifestyle interventions are effective. The aim of this literature review is to identify nudging techniques used in public health lifestyle interventions and to investigate whether nudging techniques induce expected healthy lifestyle changes in interventions that relate to diet, exercise, sleep, alcohol and smoking. Methods A systematic literature review on the concept “nudging” in public health lifestyle interventions was conducted, applying a free text search strategy on a set of search terms in three databases: PubMed, CINAHL and PsycINFO. Articles meeting the inclusion criteria were included in our data set, and we performed a meta-synthesis to construct interpretative explanations. Results 66 original studies published in international peer-reviewed journals were identified. The findings showed that most nudging interventions involved diet/nutrition (n = 55), were carried out as single experiments, lasted for a short period of time and that the majority had the intended effects. Specific nudging techniques were identified and sorted into eight broader categories. The most commonly used nudging technique involved making healthier food items more apparent and accessible than less healthy foods. Conclusions The synthesis showed that these studies were limited with regard to their design, target groups, duration of the intervention, measures of effectiveness and critical reflection on ethical issues. Key messages Nudging may be effective in producing immediate behavioral changes; however, there is little evidence that nudging interventions result in lasting behavioral changes outside the setting of the studies. Further critical discussions about the implications of nudging in public health lifestyles intervention are required.
Thesis
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This PhD dissertation studies the economic opportunities of preventive health care in the context of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The level of preventive health care remains low in European countries, even though this type of care could serve an important role when it comes to the challenges posed by NCDs. Not only does preventive care have the possibility to improve quality of life and prevent premature deaths, it could also reduce health care expenditure and government spending, as well as avert economic losses. In this dissertation, the connection between preventive health care and four main NCDs – cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and type-2 diabetes – is approached in two parts. In the first part, the focus lies on exploring the economic challenges posed by NCDs and preventive health care. In the second part, the focus turns to economic opportunities in prevention for NCDs: existing and potential prevention efforts are evaluated in their ability to decrease the economic burden of NCDs. We address which tools of preventive care can be effective as well as affordable. In the first chapter, the financial burden of the four main NCDs in the European Union (EU) is studied based on a systematic review of the literature. We find that at least 25% of the total health care budget is spent on cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and type-2 diabetes; these diseases cause an additional economic loss worth almost 2% of EU GDP. Chapter 2 elaborates on the question why preventive health care does not have a more prominent role in the health care system today, considering its large potential to tackle NCDs. Through a literature review we cover market and behavioural failures that improve our understanding on the state of prevention today. Taking these barriers into account, can yield more effective policy design for preventive interventions. In the third chapter, the focus is steered towards the future by assessing the evolution of NCD prevalence and costs in the EU, until 2040. We develop a dynamic, non-homogeneous Markov model that is able to simulate the disease and financial burden of cancer, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and their co-morbidities. We find that population aging and multi-morbidity will remain important drivers behind the number of NCDs as well as their cost to the health care system and society. The second part of this dissertation, covering chapters 4 to 6, starts by evaluating the existing framework of prevention in the context of smoking behaviour. We assess the effectiveness of the anti-smoking policies in European countries in decreasing smoking prevalence among elderly individuals. We confirm the effectiveness of pricing policies, but indicate a need for more policy attention and research for this group of smokers. In Chapter 5, we create a semi-Markov model to assess the cost-effectiveness of primary health care interventions for prediabetic individuals in Belgium. We address two interventions: an intensive lifestyle intervention and a medical intervention with metformin, both preceded by screening. While both types of interventions are cost-effective for the health care system and even cost-saving for society, lifestyle interventions realize higher gains in quality of life and could therefore be more appropriate. In the sixth and final chapter, we address the fact that health benefits can also occur through NCD prevention outside of the health care sector. An exercise of demand modelling is undertaken in which Belgium implements carbon taxation to achieve environmental benefits. We study the potential health-related co-benefits that this type of policy; these benefits occur through reduced air pollution and a shift towards a more sustainable and balanced dietary pattern. This study indicates that policies or interventions outside of the health care sector may also create health gains by preventing risk factor exposure. These gains should be taken into account by policymakers. In conclusion, this dissertation indicates the economic challenge as well as opportunities for preventive health care in the context of non-communicable diseases. We established the current and future economic burden of several main NCDs (i.e. cancer, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and chronic respiratory disease), and the important role of population aging and multi-morbidity. Aside from pointing to the need for prevention, we also clarify the impact of several market and individual barriers in preserving the currently low levels of preventive health care across Europe. The economic opportunity of prevention lies in well-designed policies that address both economic incentives – e.g. pricing policies – as well as influential behavioural factors – e.g. group support and habit formation for behavioural change. For preventive health care to be implemented on a larger scale, it is important that the economic incentive structure in health care and government institutions encourages this. Finally, gains from NCD prevention can also be realized outside of the health care sector, for example in the energy sector. These benefits should be taken into account in policy decisions as well.
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Retailers can play an important role in facilitating a transition to sustainable diets in the UK. They have been implementing strategies aimed at helping customers make healthier choices and are now considering how to broaden this to include sustainability, which is a live discussion in the UK retail sector. Focusing on ‘less and better’ meat and dairy as a core component of sustainable diets, this study investigates retailer perceptions of sustainable diets and their strategies and challenges to provide and promote customer purchasing of ‘less and better’ meat and dairy. Results from a series of semi-structured interviews with senior health and sustainability professionals within the UK retail sector indicate that retailers have a diverse understanding of sustainable diets that seldom includes ‘less and better’ meat and dairy. Retailers are adopting a range of different strategies linked to ‘less and better’ meat and dairy – from improving the sustainability of their meat and dairy supply chains to influencing customer purchasing through ‘nudge’ interventions. While strategies related to ‘better’ meat and dairy are being adopted, no retailer is implementing interventions focused on reducing purchasing of meat products. The promotion of sustainable diets is seen by some retailers as a way of positively engaging with customers and improving brand loyalty, but there are external barriers to reducing purchasing of meat and dairy products that are beyond the direct control of the retailer.
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Nudging is increasingly used in public health interventions in Western societies to produced health-promoting behavior changes; however, there is lack of clarity as to what constitutes a nudge, scant knowledge of the effectiveness of nudging techniques in public health lifestyle interventions and a number of ethical and value-based concerns. The aim of this review is to address these research lacunae and identify the characteristics of nudges in empirical research on public health interventions intended to induce healthy lifestyle changes, including whether they are effective. We conducted systematic searches for relevant articles published between January 2008 and April 2019 in three databases, PubMed, CINAHL and PsycINFO, and combined this with a metasynthesis to construct interpretative explanations. A total of 66 original studies met the inclusion criteria. The findings of the systematic review showed that most nudging interventions involved diet/nutrition, most were carried out as single experiments, and the majority had the intended effects. Specific nudging techniques were identified with respect to the broader nudging categories of accessibility, presentation, using messages and pictures, technology-supported information, financial incentives, affecting the senses, and cognitive loading; several studies included more than one nudging technique. Although many nudging techniques had the intended effects, it is unclear whether they would work outside the study setting. The synthesis revealed that the studies lacked critical reflection on the assumptions about health that were implicit in nudging interventions, the cultural acceptability of nudges, the context-free assumptions of nudging theory, and the implications of these aspects for the public health context.
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Poor diet is one of the leading contributors to the burden of disease globally. Reducing the portion size of commonly purchased food and beverages has been identified as a promising approach for reducing obesity and related non-communicable diseases across populations. To date, there have been few population-level interventions developed with the aim of addressing portion size. Of those that have been developed, the majority have been at the discretion of food manufacturers to implement, and there is very little evidence to indicate that these interventions have resulted in any meaningful changes. There is nevertheless substantial opportunity for future public health actions targeting portion size, including government-led targets for portion size reduction in key food categories; portion size caps on unhealthy foods in selected settings, such as schools and hospitals; the standardization of declared portion sizes across food categories; and restrictions on the use of price incentives that encourage purchase of larger portion sizes.
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Background: Obesity has become a world-wide epidemic and is spreading to countries with emerging economies. Previously tested interventions are often too costly to maintain in the long term. This leaves a need for improved strategies for management of the epidemic. Nudge Theory presents a new collection of methods, deemed "nudges", which have the potential for low-cost and broad application to guide healthier lifestyle choices without the need for restrictive regulation. There has not yet been a large-scale examination of the effectiveness of nudges, despite several policy making bodies now considering their use. Methods: To address this gap in knowledge, an adapted systematic review methodology was used to collect and consolidate results from current Nudge papers and to determine whether Nudge strategies are successful in changing adults' dietary choices for healthier ones. Results: It was found that nudges resulted in an average 15.3 % increase in healthier dietary or nutritional choices, as measured by a change in frequency of healthy choices or a change in overall caloric consumption. All of the included studies were from wealthy nations, with a particular emphasis on the United States with 31 of 42 included experiments. Conclusions: This analysis demonstrates Nudge holds promise as a public health strategy to combat obesity. More research is needed in varied settings, however, and future studies should aim to replicate previous results in more geographically and socioeconomically diverse countries.
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People typically eat more from large portions of food than from small portions. An explanation that has often been given for this so-called portion size effect is that the portion size acts as a social norm and as such communicates how much is appropriate to eat. In this paper, we tested this explanation by examining whether manipulating the relevance of the portion size as a social norm changes the portion size effect, as assessed by prospective consumption decisions. We conducted one pilot experiment and one full experiment in which participants respectively indicated how much they would eat or serve themselves from a given amount of different foods. In the pilot (N = 63), we manipulated normative relevance by allegedly basing the portion size on the behavior of either students of the own university (in-group) or of another university (out-group). In the main experiment (N = 321), we told participants that either a minority or majority of people similar to them approved of the portion size. Results show that in both experiments, participants expected to serve themselves and to eat more from larger than from smaller portions. As expected, however, the portion size effect was less pronounced when the reference portions were allegedly based on the behavior of an out-group (pilot) or approved only by a minority (main experiment). These findings suggest that the portion size indeed provides normative information, because participants were less influenced by it if it communicated the behaviors or values of a less relevant social group. In addition, in the main experiment, the relation between portion size and the expected amount served was partially mediated by the amount that was considered appropriate, suggesting that concerns about eating an appropriate amount indeed play a role in the portion size effect. However, since the portion size effect was weakened but not eliminated by the normative relevance manipulations and since mediation was only partial, other mechanisms may also play a role.
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An analysis of consumers' Weblogs and two experiments address: (1) the differences in evaluations of menu items when consumers are versus are not provided with meal calorie information, and (2) their perception of calorie levels of different types of meals. Consumers provided their calorie estimates for specific meals offered by four different fast food restaurants, and an experiment assessed effects on consumer evaluations for calorie disclosures for actual items from two of these restaurants. Results show the complex relationship between consumer perceptions regarding the restaurants, the meals and the food items that can influence consumers' calorie estimates and evaluations of meals in restaurants.
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In the past decades, portion sizes of high-caloric foods and drinks have increased and can be considered an important environmental obesogenic factor. This paper describes a research project in which the feasibility and effectiveness of environmental interventions targeted at portion size was evaluated. The studies that we conducted revealed that portion size labeling, offering a larger variety of portion sizes, and proportional pricing (that is, a comparable price per unit regardless of the size) were considered feasible to implement according to both consumers and point-of-purchase representatives. Studies into the effectiveness of these interventions demonstrated that the impact of portion size labeling on the (intended) consumption of soft drinks was, at most, modest. Furthermore, the introduction of smaller portion sizes of hot meals in worksite cafeterias in addition to the existing size stimulated a moderate number of consumers to replace their large meals by a small meal. Elaborating on these findings, we advocate further research into communication and marketing strategies related to portion size interventions; the development of environmental portion size interventions as well as educational interventions that improve people's ability to deal with a 'super-sized' environment; the implementation of regulation with respect to portion size labeling, and the use of nudges to stimulate consumers to select healthier portion sizes.
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Food marketing is facing increasing challenges in using portion size (e.g., “supersizing”) as a marketing tool. Marketers use portion size to attract customers and encourage purchase, but social agencies are expressing concern that larger portion sizes encourage greater consumption. This in turn raises concerns about excessive consumption and obesity. This paper addresses two questions that are central to this debate: How much effect does portion size have on consumption, and are there limits to this effect? A meta-analytic review revealed that, for a doubling of portion size, consumption increases by 35% on average. However, the effect has limits. An extended analysis showed that the effect of portion size is curvilinear: as portions become increasingly larger, the effect diminishes. In addition, although the portion-size effect is widespread and robust across a range of individual and environmental factors, the analysis showed that the portion-size effect is weaker among children, women, and overweight individuals, for non-snack food items and in contexts in which more attention is being given to the food being eaten.
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Calorie underestimation is often alleged to contribute to obesity. By developing a psychophysical model of meal size estimation, the authors show that the association between body mass and calorie underestimation found in health science research is a spurious consequence of the tendency of high-body-mass people to choose--and thus estimate--larger meals. In four studies involving consumers and dieticians, the authors find that the calorie estimations of high- and low-body-mass people follow the same compressive power function; that is, they exhibit the same diminishing sensitivity to meal size changes as the size of the meal increases. The authors also find that using a piecemeal decomposition improves calorie estimation and leads people to choose smaller, but equally satisfying, fast-food meals. The findings that biases in calorie estimation are caused by meal size and not body size have important implications for allegations against the food industry and for the clinical treatment of obesity.
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state that this condi-tion poses “the single greatest threat to public health inthis century.” It seems evident that the current obesityepidemic is caused by an excess of calorie intake overexpenditure encouraged by an environment that pro-motesexcessivefoodintakeanddiscouragesphysicalac-tivity. Restaurant foods, large portion sizes, and ubiqui-tous food, all heavily marketed, contribute to calorieoverconsumption.
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Unhealthy diets can lead to various diseases, which in turn can translate into a bigger burden for the state in the form of health services and lost production. Obesity alone has enormous costs and claims thousands of lives every year. Although diet quality in the European Union has improved across countries, it still falls well short of conformity with the World Health Organization dietary guidelines. In this review, we classify types of policy interventions addressing healthy eating and identify through a literature review what specific policy interventions are better suited to improve diets. Policy interventions are classified into two broad categories: information measures and measures targeting the market environment. Using this classification, we summarize a number of previous systematic reviews, academic papers, and institutional reports and draw some conclusions about their effectiveness. Of the information measures, policy interventions aimed at reducing or banning unhealthy food advertisements generally have had a weak positive effect on improving diets, while public information campaigns have been successful in raising awareness of unhealthy eating but have failed to translate the message into action. Nutritional labeling allows for informed choice. However, informed choice is not necessarily healthier; knowing or being able to read and interpret nutritional labeling on food purchased does not necessarily result in consumption of healthier foods. Interventions targeting the market environment, such as fiscal measures and nutrient, food, and diet standards, are rarer and generally more effective, though more intrusive. Overall, we conclude that measures to support informed choice have a mixed and limited record of success. On the other hand, measures to target the market environment are more intrusive but may be more effective.
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Understanding consumer response to product supersizing and downsizing is important for policy makers, consumer researchers, and marketers. In three laboratory experiments and two field studies, the authors find that changes in size appear smaller when packages and portions change in all three spatial dimensions-height, width, and length-than when they change in only one dimension. Specifically, they show that size estimations follow an inelastic power function of the actual size of the product, especially when all three spatial dimensions change simultaneously. As a result, consumers are more likely to supersize their orders when products change in one dimension and are more likely to downsize their orders when products change in three dimensions. When changing dosage, consumers pour more product into and out of conical containers (e.g., martini cocktail glasses, in which volume changes in three dimensions) than cylindrical containers (e.g., highball glasses, in which volume changes in one dimension). Finally, consumers expect (and marketers offer) steeper quantity discounts when products are supersized in three dimensions than when they are supersized in one dimension, regardless of whether size information is present.
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Environmental interventions directed at portion size might help consumers to reduce their food intake. To assess whether offering a smaller hot meal, in addition to the existing size, stimulates people to replace their large meal with a smaller meal. Longitudinal randomized controlled trial assessing the impact of introducing small portion sizes and pricing strategies on consumer choices. In all, 25 worksite cafeterias and a panel consisting of 308 consumers (mean age=39.18 years, 50% women). A small portion size of hot meals was offered in addition to the existing size. The meals were either proportionally priced (that is, the price per gram was comparable regardless of the size) or value size pricing was employed. Daily sales of small and the total number of meals, consumers' self-reported compensation behavior and frequency of purchasing small meals. The ratio of small meals sales in relation to large meals sales was 10.2%. No effect of proportional pricing was found B=-0.11 (0.33), P=0.74, confidence interval (CI): -0.76 to 0.54). The consumer data indicated that 19.5% of the participants who had selected a small meal often-to-always purchased more products than usual in the worksite cafeteria. Small meal purchases were negatively related to being male (B=-0.85 (0.20), P=0.00, CI: -1.24 to -0.46, n=178). When offering a small meal in addition to the existing size, a percentage of consumers that is considered reasonable were inclined to replace the large meal with the small meal. Proportional prices did not have an additional effect. The possible occurrence of compensation behavior is an issue that merits further attention.
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Larger food portion sizes lead to increased energy intake levels and might contribute to the current obesity epidemic. Only a very limited number of studies are available on the actual development of food portion sizes during past decades. The present study aims to reveal trends in portion sizes of some high-energy-dense food products during recent decades in The Netherlands. The data were collected from manufacturers and from information found in professional journals, marketing and advertising materials, and on manufacturers' websites. A number of trends in food portion sizes were observed. Larger sizes have been added to the portion size portfolio. The portion sizes of a number of products have also increased since their introduction, although this did not apply to all the products included. Finally, multi-packs have been introduced and the number of products within a multi-pack has also increased. A trend towards larger portion sizes was observed, which is relevant to the public health debate regarding the prevention of overweight and obesity. It is recommended that developments in food portion sizes continue to be monitored over the coming years, and the effects of the newly introduced portion sizes on food intake be studied.
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This qualitative study assessed consumers' opinions of food portion sizes and their attitudes toward portion-size interventions located in various point-of-purchase settings targeting overweight and obese people. Eight semi-structured focus group discussions were conducted with 49 participants. Constructs from the diffusion of innovations theory were included in the interview guide. Each focus group was recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were coded and analyzed with Atlas.ti 5.2 using the framework approach. Results showed that many participants thought that portion sizes of various products have increased during the past decades and are larger than acceptable. The majority also indicated that value for money is important when purchasing and that large portion sizes offer more value for money than small portion sizes. Furthermore, many experienced difficulties with self-regulating the consumption of large portion sizes. Among the portion-size interventions that were discussed, participants had most positive attitudes toward a larger availability of portion sizes and pricing strategies, followed by serving-size labeling. In general, reducing package serving sizes as an intervention strategy to control food intake met resistance. The study concludes that consumers consider interventions consisting of a larger variety of available portion sizes, pricing strategies and serving-size labeling as most acceptable to implement.
Article
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Large food portion sizes are determinants of a high caloric intake, especially if they have been made attractive through value size pricing (i.e. lower unit prices for large than for small portion sizes). The purpose of the two questionnaire studies that are reported in this article was to assess the impact of proportional pricing (i.e. removing beneficial prices for large sizes) on people's portion size choices of high caloric food and drink items. Both studies employed an experimental design with a proportional pricing condition and a value size pricing condition. Study 1 was conducted in a fast food restaurant (N = 150) and study 2 in a worksite cafeteria (N = 141). Three different food products (i.e. soft drink, chicken nuggets in study 1 and a hot meal in study 2) with corresponding prices were displayed on pictures in the questionnaire. Outcome measures were consumers' intended portion size choices. No main effects of pricing were found. However, confronted with proportional pricing a trend was found for overweight fast food restaurant visitors being more likely to choose small portion sizes of chicken nuggets (OR = 4.31, P = 0.07) and less likely to choose large soft drink sizes (OR = 0.07, P = 0.04). Among a general public, proportional pricing did not reduce consumers' size choices. However, pricing strategies can help overweight and obese consumers selecting appropriate portion sizes of soft drink and high caloric snacks. More research in realistic settings with actual behaviour as outcome measure is required.
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Background This study experimentally examined the effects of repeated exposure to different meal portion sizes on energy intake. Methods Nineteen employees of a county medical center were given free box lunches for two months, one month each of 1528 and 767 average kcal. Foods were identical in the two conditions, but differed in portion size. Meals averaged 44% calories from fat. Participants self-reported how much of each lunch was eaten. Unannounced 24-hour dietary recalls were also conducted by phone twice per week during each exposure period. Results Mean energy intake at the lunch meal was 332 kcal/day higher in large lunch than in small lunch periods (p < .001). Mean 24-hour energy intake was 278 kcal/day higher in large versus small lunch periods (p < .001). There was no evidence of compensation over time. Average weight change over the month of large and small lunches was 0.64 ± 1.16 kg and 0.06 ± 1.03 kg, respectively, about what would be expected with the observed differences in energy intake. Conclusion This study suggests that chronic exposure to large portion size meals can result in sustained increases in energy intake and may contribute to body weight increases over time.
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Although point-of-purchase calorie labeling at restaurants has been proposed as a strategy for improving consumer food choices, a limited number of studies have evaluated this approach. Likewise, little research has been conducted to evaluate the influence of value size pricing on restaurant meal choices. To examine the effect of point-of-purchase calorie information and value size pricing on fast food meal choices a randomized 2 x 2 factorial experiment was conducted in which participants ordered a fast food meal from one of four menus that varied with respect to whether calorie information was provided and whether value size pricing was used. Study participants included 594 adolescents and adults who regularly ate at fast food restaurants. Study staff recorded the foods ordered and consumed by each participant. Participants also completed surveys to assess attitudes, beliefs and practices related to fast food and nutrition. No significant differences in the energy composition of meals ordered or eaten were found between menu conditions. The average energy content of meals ordered by those randomized to a menu that included calorie information and did not include value size pricing was 842 kcals compared with 827 kcals for those who ordered their meal from a menu that did not include calorie information but had value size pricing (control menu). Results were similar in most analyses conducted stratified by factors such as age, race and education level. Additional research is needed to better evaluate the effects of calorie labeling and value size pricing on fast food meal choices. Studies in which participants are repeatedly exposed to these factors are needed since long term exposure may be required for behavior change.
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Consumers believe that small package formats of hedonic, but not of utilitarian, products help to regulate consumption-especially when their self-regulatory concerns are activated. These beliefs may backfire and increase consumption of hedonic products. Specifically, activating self-regulatory concerns had no consumption effects when tempting products came in small package formats. Yet, when tempting products came in large package formats, consumers deliberated most before consumption, were least likely to consume, and consumed the least. This illustrates how small temptations can remain undetected ("flying under the radar") and large package formats may reduce consumption as a result of the experienced self-control conflict. (c) 2008 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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Food portion-sizes might be a promising starting point for interventions targeting obesity. The purpose of this qualitative study was to assess how representatives of point-of-purchase settings perceived the feasibility of interventions aimed at portion-size. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 representatives of various point-of-purchase settings. Constructs derived from the diffusion of innovations theory were incorporated into the interview guide. Each interview was recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were coded and analysed with Atlas.ti 5.2 using the framework approach. According to the participants, offering a larger variety of portion-sizes had the most relative advantages, and reducing portions was the most disadvantageous. The participants also considered portion-size reduction and linear pricing of portion-sizes to be risky. Lastly, a larger variety of portion-sizes, pricing strategies and portion-size labelling were seen as the most complex interventions. In general, participants considered offering a larger variety of portion-sizes, portion-size labelling and, to a lesser extent, pricing strategies with respect to portion-sizes as most feasible to implement. Interventions aimed at portion-size were seen as innovative by most participants. Developing adequate communication strategies about portion-size interventions with both decision-makers in point-of-purchase settings and the general public is crucial for successful implementation.
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Because larger food portions could be contributing to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity, this study was designed to weigh samples of marketplace foods, identify historical changes in the sizes of those foods, and compare current portions with federal standards. We obtained information about current portions from manufacturers or from direct weighing; we obtained information about past portions from manufacturers or contemporary publications. Marketplace food portions have increased in size and now exceed federal standards. Portion sizes began to grow in the 1970s, rose sharply in the 1980s, and have continued in parallel with increasing body weights. Because energy content increases with portion size, educational and other public health efforts to address obesity should focus on the need for people to consume smaller portions.
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Large portions of food may contribute to excess energy intake and greater obesity. However, data on the effects of portion size on food intake in adults are limited. We examined the effect of portion size on intake during a single meal. We also investigated whether the response to portion size depended on which person, the subject or the experimenter, determined the amount of food on the plate. Fifty-one men and women were served lunch 1 d/wk for 4 wk. Lunch included an entrée of macaroni and cheese consumed ad libitum. At each meal, subjects were presented with 1 of 4 portions of the entrée: 500, 625, 750, or 1000 g. One group of subjects received the portion on a plate, and a second group received it in a serving dish and took the amount they desired on their plates. Portion size significantly influenced energy intake at lunch (P < 0.0001). Subjects consumed 30% more energy (676 kJ) when offered the largest portion than when offered the smallest portion. The response to the variations in portion size was not influenced by who determined the amount of food on the plate or by subject characteristics such as sex, body mass index, or scores for dietary restraint or disinhibition. Larger portions led to greater energy intake regardless of serving method and subject characteristics. Portion size is a modifiable determinant of energy intake that should be addressed in connection with the prevention and treatment of obesity.
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Eating frequently in restaurants is one of the behaviors associated with obesity. This study examined whether increasing the portion size of an entrée affected energy intake at a restaurant meal. In a cafeteria-style restaurant on different days, the size of a pasta entrée was varied from a standard portion (248 g) to a large portion (377 g). The entrée price was not changed. Intake of the entrée was determined by covertly weighing each dish before and after the meal; intake of all other foods was determined by estimating the percent consumed. The 180 adult customers who purchased the entrée also completed a survey in which they rated characteristics of the meal, including the appropriateness of the entrée portion size and the amount that they ate compared with their usual meal. Portion size had a significant effect on intake of the entrée (p < 0.0001). Compared with customers who purchased the standard portion, those who purchased the larger portion increased their energy intake of the entrée by 43% (719 kJ; 172 kcal) and of the entire meal by 25% (664 kJ; 159 kcal). There was no difference between the two groups of customers in ratings of the appropriateness of the portion size or of the amount that was eaten in relation to their usual meal. In a restaurant setting, increasing the size of an entrée results in increased energy intake. These results support the suggestion that large restaurant portions may be contributing to the obesity epidemic.
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Because people eat most of what they serve themselves, any contextual cues that lead them to over-serve should lead them to over-eat. In building on the size-contrast illusion, this research examines whether the size of a bowl or serving spoon unknowingly biases how much a person serves and eats. The 2 x 2 between-subjects design involved 85 nutrition experts who were attending an ice cream social to celebrate the success of a colleague in 2002. They were randomly given either a smaller (17 oz) or a larger (34 oz) bowl and either a smaller (2 oz) or larger (3 oz) ice cream scoop. After serving themselves, they completed a brief survey as their ice cream was weighed. The analysis was conducted in 2003. Even when nutrition experts were given a larger bowl, they served themselves 31.0% more (6.25 vs 4.77 oz, F(1, 80) = 8.05, p < 0.01) without being aware of it. Their servings increased by 14.5% when they were given a larger serving spoon (5.77 vs 5.04 oz, F(1, 80)=2.70, p = 0.10). People could try using the size of their bowls and possibly serving spoons to help them better control how much they consume. Those interested in losing weight should use smaller bowls and spoons, while those needing to gain weight--such as the undernourished or aged--could be encouraged to use larger ones. Epidemiologic implications are discussed.
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Despite significant recent public concern and media attention to the environmental impacts of food, few studies in the United States have systematically compared the life-cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with food production against long-distance distribution, aka "food-miles." We find that although food is transported long distances in general (1640 km delivery and 6760 km life-cycle supply chain on average) the GHG emissions associated with food are dominated by the production phase, contributing 83% of the average U.S. household's 8.1 t CO2e/yr footprint for food consumption. Transportation as a whole represents only 11% of life-cycle GHG emissions, and final delivery from producer to retail contributes only 4%. Different food groups exhibit a large range in GHG-intensity; on average, red meat is around 150% more GHG-intensive than chicken or fish. Thus, we suggest that dietary shift can be a more effective means of lowering an average household's food-related climate footprint than "buying local." Shifting less than one day per week's worth of calories from red meat and dairy products to chicken, fish, eggs, or a vegetable-based diet achieves more GHG reduction than buying all locally sourced food.
Article
Context While general consensus holds that food portion sizes are increasing, no empirical data have documented actual increases.Objective To determine trends in food portion sizes consumed in the United States, by eating location and food source.Design, Setting, and Participants Nationally representative data from the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey (1977-1978) and the Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals (1989-1991,1994-1996, and 1998). The sample consists of 63380 individuals aged 2 years and older.Main Outcome Measure For each survey year, average portion size consumed from specific food items (salty snacks, desserts, soft drinks, fruit drinks, french fries, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, pizza, and Mexican food) by eating location (home, restaurant, or fast food).Results Portion sizes vary by food source, with the largest portions consumed at fast food establishments and the smallest at other restaurants. Between 1977 and 1996, food portion sizes increased both inside and outside the home for all categories except pizza. The energy intake and portion size of salty snacks increased by 93 kcal (from 1.0 to 1.6 oz [28.4 to 45.4 g]), soft drinks by 49 kcal (13.1 to 19.9 fl oz [387.4 to 588.4 mL]), hamburgers by 97 kcal (5.7 to 7.0 oz [161.6 to 198.4 g]), french fries by 68 kcal (3.1 to 3.6 oz [87.9 to 102.1 gl), and Mexican food by 133 kcal (6.3 to 8.0 oz [178.6 to 226.8 g]).Conclusion Portion sizes and energy intake for specific food types have increased markedly with greatest increases for food consumed at fast food establishments and in the home.
Article
High rates of overweight, obesity and chronic disease are partly attributable to an increased prevalence of poor dietary choices, which are in part due to the modern environment being conducive to the development of habitual unhealthy food and beverage choices. Nudging aims to influence habitual behaviors by altering the presentation of options to consumers. This systematic literature review investigated nudging interventions, as attributed by the original authors, and their effectiveness for influencing healthier choices. Eight bibliographic databases from the disciplines of psychology, business and health were searched. Included studies were available in the English language and as full-text peer reviewed publication. Studies used nudging or choice architecture interventions that influenced adult food and beverage choices. The number of papers reporting nudging interventions (as attributed by the authors) was low, with only thirteen articles included in the review (comprising 26 primary studies). All studies fall into ‘salience’ and ‘priming’ – type nudging interventions, which were tested across different adult populations and settings – including laboratories, canteens, cafeterias and restaurants. According to the NHMRC levels of evidence only two interventions were of a high level of evidence, and the majority of articles received average or poor quality ratings, as per the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines. Combined ‘salience’ and ‘priming’ nudges showed consistent positive influence on healthier food and beverage choices. This review had limited ability to determine effectiveness of nudging due to various populations and settings tested and the use and reporting of incomparable outcome measures. This is the first review to synthesize nudging interventions, finding minimal uptake of nudging in the academic literature, and mixed effectiveness of nudging for influencing healthier food and beverage choices. This review is registered with PROSPERO - CRD42013005056.
Article
In an environment with large portion sizes, allowing consumers more control over their portion selection could moderate the effects on energy intake. We tested whether having subjects choose a portion from several options influenced the amount selected or consumed when all portion sizes were systematically increased. In a crossover design, 24 women and 26 men ate lunch in the lab once a week for 3 weeks. At each meal, subjects chose a portion of macaroni and cheese from a set of 3 portion options and consumed it ad libitum. Across 3 conditions, portion sizes in the set were increased; the order of the conditions was counterbalanced across subjects. For women the portion sets by weight (g) were 300/375/450, 375/450/525, and 450/525/600; for men the portions were 33% larger. The results showed that increasing the size of available portions did not significantly affect the relative size selected; across all portion sets, subjects chose the smallest available portion at 59% of meals, the medium at 27%, and the largest at 15%. The size of portions offered did, however, influence meal intake (P<0.0001). Mean intake (±SEM) was 16% greater when the largest set was offered (661±34 kcal) than when the medium and smallest sets were offered (both 568±18 kcal). These results suggest that portions are selected in relation to the other available options, and confirm the robust effect of portion size on intake. Although presenting a choice of portions can allow selection of smaller amounts, the sizes offered are a critical determinant of energy intake. Thus, the availability of choices could help to moderate intake if the portions offered are within an appropriate range for energy needs.
Article
Success of strategies for solving problems of climate change, resource efficiency and environmental impacts increasingly depend on whether changes in public behaviour can and will supplement the technical solutions available to date. A renewed perspective on existing policy tools and potential strategies for behaviour change are entering public debate that have implications for behaviour of individuals, but that also raise critical questions about the role of the government in the society and transition to sustainability.
Article
Consumers' attempts to control their unwanted consumption impulses influence many everyday purchases with broad implications for marketers' pricing policies. Addressing theoreticians and practitioners alike, this paper uses multiple empirical methods to show that consumers voluntarily and strategically ration their purchase quantities of goods that are likely to be consumed on impulse and that therefore may pose self-control problems. For example, many regular smokers buy their cigarettes by the pack, although they could easily afford to buy 10-pack cartons. These smokers knowingly forgo sizable per-unit savings from quantity discounts, which they could realize if they bought cartons; by rationing their purchase quantities, they also self-impose additional transactions costs on marginal consumption, which makes excessive smoking overly difficult and costly. Such strategic self-imposition of constraints is intuitively appealing yet theoretically problematic. The marketing literature lacks operationalizations and empirical tests of such consumption self-control strategies and of their managerial implications. This paper provides experimental evidence of the operation of consumer self-control and empirically illustrates its direct implications for the pricing of consumer goods. Moreover, the paper develops a conceptual framework for the design of empirical tests of such self-imposed constraints on consumption in consumer goods markets. Within matched pairs of products, we distinguish relative "virtue" and "vice" goods whose preference ordering changes with whet her consumers evaluate immediate or delayed consumption consequences. For example, ignoring long-term health effects, many smokers prefer regular (relative vice) to light (relative virtue) cigarettes, because they prefer the taste of the former. However, ignoring these short-term taste differences, the same smokers prefer light to regular cigarettes when they consider the long-term health effects of smoking. These preference orders can lead to dynamically inconsistent consumption choices by consumers whose tradeoffs between the immediate and delayed consequences of consumption depend on the time lag between purchase and consumption. This creates a potential self-control problem, because these consumers will be tempted to over consume the vices they have in stock at home. Purchase quantity rationing helps them solve the self-control problem by limiting their stock and hence their consumption opportunities. Such rationing implies that, per purchase occasion, vice consumers will be less likely than virtue consumers to buy larger quantities in response to unit price reductions such as quantity discounts. We first test this prediction in two laboratory experiments. We then examine the external validity of the results at the retail level with a field survey of quantity discounts and with a scanner data analysis of chain-wide store-level demand across a variety of different pairs of matched vice (regular) and virtue (reduced fat, calorie, or caffeine, etc.) product categories. The analyses of these experimental, field, and scanner data provide strong convergent evidence of a characteristic crossover in demand schedules for relative vices and virtues for categories as diverse as, among others, potato chips, chocolate chip cookies, cream cheese, beer, soft drinks, ice cream and frozen yogurt, chewing gum, coffee, and beef andturkey bologna. Vice consumers' demand increases less in response to price reductions than virtue consumers' demand, although their preferences are not generally weaker for vices than for virtues. Constraints on vice purchases are self-imposed and strategic rather than driven by simple preferences. We suggest that rationing their vice inventories at the point of purchase allows consumers to limit subsequent consumption. As a result of purchase quantity rationing, however, vice buyers forgo savings from price reductions through quantity discounts, effectively paying price premiums for the opportunity to engage in self-control. Thus, purchase quantity rationing vice consumers are relatively price in sensitive. From a managerial and public policy perspective, our findings should offer marketing practitioners in many consumer goods industries new opportunities to increase profits through segmentation and price discrimination based on consumer self-control. They can charge premium prices for small sizes of vices, relative to the corresponding quantity discounts for virtues. Virtue consumers, on the other hand, will buy larger amounts even when quantity discounts are relatively shallow. A key conceptual contribution of this paper lies in showing how marketing researchers can investigate a whole class of strategic self-constraining consumer behaviors empirically. Moreover, this research is the first to extend previous, theoretical work on impulse control by empirically demonstrating its broader implications for marketing decision making.
Article
How important are visual cues for determining satiation? To find out, 64 participants were served lunch in a "dark" restaurant where they ate in complete darkness. Half the participants unknowingly received considerably larger "super-size" portions which subsequently led them to eat 36% more food. Despite this difference, participants' appetite for dessert and their subjective satiety were largely unaffected by how much they had consumed. Consistent with expectations, participants were also less accurate in estimating their actual consumption quantity than a control group who ate the same meal in the light.
Article
This study examined the effects of pricing and promotion strategies on purchases of low-fat snacks from vending machines. Low-fat snacks were added to 55 vending machines in a convenience sample of 12 secondary schools and 12 worksites. Four pricing levels (equal price, 10% reduction, 25% reduction, 50% reduction) and 3 promotional conditions (none, low-fat label, low-fat label plus promotional sign) were crossed in a Latin square design. Sales of low-fat vending snacks were measured continuously for the 12-month intervention. Price reductions of 10%, 25%, and 50% on low-fat snacks were associated with significant increases in low-fat snack sales; percentages of low-fat snack sales increased by 9%, 39%, and 93%, respectively. Promotional signage was independently but weakly associated with increases in low-fat snack sales. Average profits per machine were not affected by the vending interventions. Reducing relative prices on low-fat snacks was effective in promoting lower-fat snack purchases from vending machines in both adult and adolescent populations.
Article
This study examines the feasibility and effectiveness of an environmental intervention for improving diet by comparing the impact of health messages, lowered prices, and their combination on the purchase of healthy food items in a restaurant. Price decreases alone, rather than a combination of price decreases and health messages, were associated with a higher level of increased purchases of some healthy food items as compared with control items over a 4-month period. Price decreases may be a more powerful means than health messages of increasing consumption of healthy foods. Health messages may have paradoxical effects if foods labeled as healthy are assumed to taste bad.
Article
It is often believed that people overeat the foods they like. We investigated whether environmental cues such as packaging and container size are so powerful that they can increase our intake of foods that are less palatable. In a 2 x 2 between-subjects design, 158 moviegoers in Philadelphia (57.6% male; 28.7 years) were randomly given a medium (120 g) or a large (240 g) container of free popcorn that was either fresh or stale (14 days old). Following the movie, consumption measures were taken, along with measures of perceived taste. Moviegoers who were given fresh popcorn ate 45.3% more popcorn when it was given to them in large containers. This container-size influence is so powerful that even when the popcorn was disliked, people still ate 33.6% more popcorn when eating from a large container than from a medium-size container. Even when foods are not palatable, large packages and containers can lead to overeating. The silver lining of these findings may be that portion size can also be used to increase the consumption of less preferred healthful foods, such as raw vegetables.
Article
We tested the effect on energy intake of increasing the portion size of all foods and beverages served over 2 consecutive days. The study used a randomized crossover design. Subjects were 32 adults from a university community. For 2 consecutive days in each of 3 weeks, subjects ate their main meals in a controlled setting and were given snacks for consumption between meals. We used the same two daily menus each week, but varied the portion sizes of all foods and beverages served in a given week (either 100%, 150%, or 200% of baseline amounts). Energy intake and ratings of hunger and satiety were measured. A linear mixed model with repeated measures was used. There was a significant effect of portion size on energy intake in both men and women (P<0.0001). Increasing portions by 50% increased daily energy intake by 16% (women: 335 kcal/day; men: 504 kcal/day), and increasing portions by 100% increased intake by 26% (women: 530 kcal/day; men: 812 kcal/day). Energy intake did not differ between the 2 days of each week. Daily ratings of fullness were lowest in the 100% portion condition (P=0.0004), but did not differ significantly in the 150% and 200% conditions. Increasing the portion size of all foods resulted in a significant increase in energy intake that was sustained over 2 days. These data support suggestions that large portions are associated with excess energy intake that could contribute to increased body weight.
Article
A previous study showed that increasing the portion sizes of all foods led to an increase in energy intake that was sustained over 2 days. The objective of the present study was to determine whether participants would compensate for excess energy intake or continue to overeat when portion sizes were increased for 11 days. Participants in the study were 23 normal-weight and overweight participants (10 women and 13 men). All of their foods and caloric beverages were provided during two different periods of 11 consecutive days, which were separated by a 2-week interval. During one period, standard portions of all items were served; during the other, all portion sizes were increased by 50%. The 50% increase in portion sizes resulted in a mean increase in daily energy intake of 423 +/- 27 kcal (p < 0.0001), which did not differ significantly between women and men. This increase was sustained for 11 days and did not decline significantly over time, leading to a mean cumulative increase in intake of 4636 +/- 532 kcal. A significant effect of portion size on intake was seen at all meals and in all categories of foods except fruit (as a snack) and vegetables. The effect of portion size on intake was not influenced by the body weight status of participants. These results strengthen the evidence suggesting that increased portions contribute to the overconsumption of energy and to excess body weight.
Article
This study investigated the effect on energy intake of increasing the portion size of a food served as a discrete unit. A within-subject design with repeated measures was used. The sample comprised 75 young adults (37 females and 38 males) from a university community. Individuals ate lunch in the lab once a week for 4 weeks. Each week, they were served one of four sizes of a deli-style sandwich (6, 8, 10, or 12 inches), of which they could eat as much as they wanted. Energy intakes were determined for each meal, as were ratings of hunger and satiety before and after each meal. A linear mixed model with repeated measures was used. The influence of subject characteristics was examined using analysis of covariance. The portion size of the sandwich significantly influenced lunch intake for both males and females (P<.0001). The majority of individuals consumed the entire 6-inch sandwich. When served the 12-inch sandwich, compared with the 8-inch sandwich, females consumed 12% more energy (74 kcal) and males consumed 23% more energy (186 kcal). Despite these differences, ratings of hunger and fullness were not significantly different after eating the 12-inch and 8-inch sandwiches. These results suggest that increasing the portion size of a food served as a discrete unit leads to increased energy intake at a single meal without differentially influencing ratings of hunger and satiety. Dietitians should educate their clients about strategies to moderate the effect on intake of increased portions of high-calorie foods.
Article
The food industry faces many significant risks from public criticism of corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues in the supply chain. This paper draws upon previous research and emerging industry trends to develop a comprehensive framework of supply chain CSR in the industry. The framework details unique CSR applications in the food supply chain including animal welfare, biotechnology, environment, fair trade, health and safety, and labor and human rights. General supply chain CSR issues such as community and procurement are also considered. Ultimately, the framework serves as a comprehensive tool to support food industry practitioners and researchers in the assessment of strategic and operational supply chain CSR practices. Copyright Springer 2006
Americans' spending on dining out just overtook grocery sales for the first time ever
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Jamrisko, M. (2015). Americans' spending on dining out just overtook grocery sales for the first time ever. Bloomberg Markets April 14.
Using multivariate statistics
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Tabachnick, B., & Fidell, L. (2006). Using multivariate statistics (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Aanbevelingen over vlees, vis, eieren en vervangproducten
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ViGeZ. Aanbevelingen over vlees, vis, eieren en vervangproducten (2016). www.vigez.be Accessed 21.10.16.