Healthy eating habits help to prevent diseases such as obesity and cardiovascular disease. However, many Dutch people eat relatively unhealthily. This is largely the result of automatic, impulsive choices for unhealthy food, provoked by the so-called ‘obesogenic’ food environment. In this project we investigate "nudges": interventions in which we make use of the automatic processes that guide eating behavior to steer people into the healthy directions. Nudges are subtle adjustments to the food environment so that eating behavior is automatically steered into the healthy direction in this manner, healthy eating behavior is promoted without the individual having to exert much effort or willpower while maintaining freedom of choice. In the project
- we identify suitable nudges for promoting healthy food choices,
- we investigate the psychological mechanisms that provide insight into how nudges work and
- we evaluate the ethical acceptability and impact of nudges on changing eating behavior and habits in the short and long term.