4 December 2018 • Stefanie Salmon
Apps that encourage students to make healthy food choices
How do you encourage secondary vocational students to make healthy food choices in a way that is compatible with their perception and desires? Researchers from the Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment research group have designed two app prototypes for that purpose.
In general, secondary vocational students are not thinking about healthy food. That is why the researchers play on other motivational factors such as being fit for the weekend and developing muscles with both apps. Making healthy food choices is one of the resources in both apps that should contribute to reaching this goal.
The apps encourage healthy food choices in various ways, including with recipe suggestions and reminders about eating goals. Using when-then planning seems to be a promising technique. These are specific plans that determine where and when someone wants to eat a specific healthy product.
A question for the follow-up research is how effective the apps are as an intervention to encourage healthy food choices. Furthermore, it is important to research how senior secondary vocational students can be encouraged to download the app and (continually) use it and how to add information about healthy food without being patronising.
The prototypes have been developed by Stefanie Salmon, Sylvia Schipper and Gitte Kloek from the Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment research group together with partners from the creative industry (Codename Future en Waag Society). The research group’s page contains more information about the research, the development process and detailed descriptions of the prototypes.