Workpackage 4– Intervention Study: The objective of WP4 is to evaluate the determinants of vegetable acceptability and sustained consumption across age groups and institutional settings, namely school, and elderly care homes. The study will be replicated in Denmark, France, Italy and the UK, representing the main potential market for new vegetable products in Europe. Background: Why choice architecture study? As frequent food consumption outside the home is associated with obesity and unhealthy food choices , institutional foodservice can be a potential venue for health promotion, since it constitutes the eating situation where consumers receive the majority of their nutrients. Choice architecture is a tool that alters people’s behaviour in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives. Why captive foodscapes? In the context of VeggiEAT, “captive” foodscapes, are the public places where food is served, to a relatively homogeneous but constant group of people. These settings could be school or elder care homes, where students and residents eat regularly. Such settings provide unique opportunities as “living laboratories” where new recipes, dishes, and structures can be tested . Innovative data collection: A modified visual estimation technique will be chosen as the data collection technique for vegetable intake in order to provide the accuracy required for this study, whilst recognizing the inherent practical difficulties for measuring food consumption in real life research. The technique was developed by the United States Army and has been used extensively in a number of settings, including institutional foodservice . Visual estimation is a non-invasive technique and has been shown to be an accurate method for assessing food quantities. Where trained personnel are used, the accuracy and reliability of a modified technique can be in excess of 95%. The technique has a further advantage in that it allows not only the nutritional intake to be calculated, but also the foods which provide those nutrients, to be identified. Many of the dishes served in this type of foodservice environment, particularly the main meal components, will be pre-portioned and those freely served items, for example, peas will be served using a standard spoon or ladle. This, combined with strict control of the servery area, and the training of data collectors, will help to ensure the accuracy of the data collection procedures. Lastly, the use of specialized EU produced software for data analysis will ensure proper control for bias. The WP addresses the following industrial challenges: the identification of the most effective and efficient CA to influence the consumption levels of vegetables; Benchmarking choice architecture practices supporting vegetable consumption within food service provision, across ages and countries, Denmark, France, Italy, UK; identifying the determinants(attitude, intention)of actual consumption of processed vegetables and the acceptability of the same vegetable as a component provided within a dish preparation.
This WP will be led by Copenhagen University and includes 3 tasks as outlined:
Research components: Task 4.1 Baseline assessment: A questionnaire will be developed and pilot tested in order to ascertain consumer’s attitude, intention and knowledge towards vegetable consumption and other socio-demographic characteristics. This questionnaire will be translated to the languages of the participating countries (Danish, English, French, Italian). The baseline assessment will be carried out with school age (12+y), and in elder care homes; a control setting will be included in the baseline measurement. Task4.2 Choice architecture intervention: Will have as an objective to evaluate enhanced environmental variables as identified by IPB such as modification of dish size, commensality etc. that optimize and exploit vegetable consumption in the intervention settings (living laboratories), and evaluated using e.g. software Observer XT ®. Task4.3 Follow-up measurements: Will be taken in order to evaluate whether changes have happened in attitude, intention and actual consumption of the target vegetable. This follow-up will also be carried out in the control setting of task 4.1. Sample sizes will be determined by power calculation based on pilot test results.
Workpackage 4 report – Assessment of enhanced choice architecture that optimises and exploits vegetable consumption
University of Copenhagen – Denmark