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Boosting healthy food choices by meal colour variety : results from two experiments and a just-in-time Ecological Momentary Intervention

Boosting healthy food choices by meal colour variety : results from two experiments and a just-in-time Ecological Momentary Intervention

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KÖNIG, Laura M., Britta RENNER, 2019. Boosting healthy food choices by meal colour variety : results from two experiments and a just-in-time Ecological Momentary Intervention. In: BMC Public Health. 19, 975. eISSN 1471-2458. Available under: doi: 10.1186/s12889-019-7306-z

@article{Konig2019-07-22Boost-47092, title={Boosting healthy food choices by meal colour variety : results from two experiments and a just-in-time Ecological Momentary Intervention}, year={2019}, doi={10.1186/s12889-019-7306-z}, volume={19}, journal={BMC Public Health}, author={König, Laura M. and Renner, Britta}, note={Article Number: 975} }

2019-10-01T11:35:33Z 2019-10-01T11:35:33Z eng Boosting healthy food choices by meal colour variety : results from two experiments and a just-in-time Ecological Momentary Intervention 2019-07-22 Renner, Britta terms-of-use Background:<br />Dietary guidelines typically specify rather complex goals and indicators for healthy food choices, such as nutrient and energy content patterns. However, translating these complex goals into practice in real life is often a major obstacle for many people. The present studies propose an intervention strategy for boosting healthy food choices by prompting consumers at a meaningful moment with a simple behavioural trigger, that is to eat a colourful lunch. Effectivity and feasibility of this intervention strategy were tested in two laboratory experiments and one real-life, smartphone-based Ecological Momentary Intervention.<br /><br />Methods:<br />In Studies 1 and 2, 83 / 42 participants self-served four meals (colourful, typical, healthy, and low-calorie) / three meals (colourful, typical, and varied) from a Fake Food Buffet. In Study 3, 80 participants recorded images of 1,210 lunch meals over a period of 3 weeks using mobile visual food recording. In the second week, participants additionally received a daily smartphone prompt to eat a colourful lunch. In all studies, participants were asked to rate the prompts’ feasibility.<br /><br />Results:<br />Prompting participants to eat a colourful meal increased the proportion of healthy foods consumed compared to typical meals in all three studies. In Studies 1 and 2, colourful meals contained more fruit and vegetables, while in Study 3 the prompt increased vegetable consumption. Furthermore, participants evaluated colourful meals to be the tastiest (Study 1) and most pleasant, and reported that the prompt was easy to follow and act upon.<br /><br />Conclusions:<br />Results suggest that prompting individuals to eat colourful meals is a promising strategy to facilitate healthy food choices in daily life.<br /><br />Trial registration:<br />German Clinical Trials Register, DRKS00017552 (Study 3; retrospectively registered on 24th June 2019). König, Laura M. König, Laura M. Renner, Britta

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