Projects on childhood obesity
Thinking outside the lunchbox - from a guided ‘Food diary’ for family members to a design a personalized lunch box
The project aims at reducing childhood obesity and food loss by creating a personalised lunch box for school children, based on examination of personal and family habits. However, awareness is only one milestone in the efforts against obesity, and was found, in general, as not as effective as assumed. Thus, this PoC goes beyond raising awareness by inclusion of active participation combined with education efforts to achieve behavioural change.
This PoC puts an emphasis on personal understanding of eating habits by conducting a guided ‘Food diary’ for each family member separately and analysing these habits as individuals and as part of a family unit. The second phase of the project makes use of the data collected and analysed during the first phase, to implement the newly acquired understanding of the family’s eating habits into designing and constructing a personalized lunch box. The personalized lunch box will support each member of the family in maintaining healthier eating.
By understanding food preferences, detecting shortage of vitamins or major food groups or eating in excess of unbalanced or unhealthy food, each member of the family, and the family as a whole can adopt higher food literacy and healthier nutritional habits. By designing and creating the lunchboxes, participants invest efforts and increase commitment to support and enable their change of behaviour regarding food uptake.
Consortium: Technion - Citizen Lab in collaboration with MadaTech Science Museum
Food Imaginarium - Promoting healthy eating habits
The origin of food is unclear to many children – they are used to the idea that food comes in packaging from the supermarket. Yet, knowledge about food is crucial to develop healthy eating habits! The PoC Food Imaginarium project will offer teachers and children (age 10-12 years old) fun and entertaining tools to talk about food - using all their senses, imagination, and creativity. The Food Imaginarium will cover different foods – starting with tomatoes as an example. A 360°/VR video takes children to a sustainable tomato farm - in a very snowy country! With virtual games and quizzes, they can dive deeper into the world of tomatoes’ nutrients and experience how tomatoes grow, smell & taste.
The Food Imaginarium has the goal to reach children at the age where they are prone to start developing obesity by approaching them via interactive and engaging activities to spark interest and increase knowledge for making healthy food choices. In the PoC, the potential impact on children’s knowledge and implicit behaviour will be measured. Feedback from teachers and experimenters on the Food Imaginarium activities will also be collected with the aim of giving direction of further development and improvement of the Food Imaginarium.
Consortium: Matis, University of Aarhus, EUFIC, IMDEA Food Institute
Peers4Food* - Peer-to-Peer engagement in food to promote healthy, fun and smart diets
The PoC provides support for overweight teenagers to develop a new awareness by sharing within a peer group focused on the same objective. A “smart food training” with shared diet, shared physical exercise and individual psychological support is designed to accompany and progressively empower teenagers. The group of peers can constitute the driving force for change: socialize and share experiences produces a sense of closeness and support that enhance self-esteem and facilitate the engagement in new lifestyles.
All Peers4Food participants will be fully involved and aware. They will:
- co-create the changing path they are going to play
- become mentors for other adolescents suffering from the same discomfort
Consortium: University of Turin, University of Warsaw, IMDEA Food
COACHILD* - e-Coach application for the prevention of Children Obesity
The Consortium will develop a mobile application (e-coach) to help and enable children and their families to improve their food literacy and make better food choices to reduce the obesity risk.
The application focuses on lifestyle monitoring and user guidance in the context of personalized nutrition (healthy food and lifestyle strategies adapted to consumer needs and preferences). Consortium will address the factors that increase the risk for obesity in vulnerable and socially disadvantaged children living in European regions with high prevalence of childhood obesity. For that purpose, it will be explored the consumer’s expectations, needs, drivers and barriers to get their food choices.
In foreseen years, the app solution will connect young people with their environment (market, food providers, school, health care professionals) to provide multiple resources because of the importance of blended care. This e-coach will serve as a communication channel to engage children in action with the intention they achieve specific outcomes (self-determination and goal setting) that responds to their needs and motivations. The developed tool could be extrapolated in future years in other countries at the same time a connected community of users is implemented.
Consortium: AZTI, KU Leuven
Children obesity and how to reduce it*
Development of an online game prototype that will educate children in the age of 10-12 on diet composition and help them to change their eating behaviours to the more healthy ones and reduce risk of obesity. The aim is to demonstrate how effective a game can be in shaping eating habits. The game will combine active interactions between players, players’ capacity to decide, striving to obtain goals, and a context which limits players’ actions. The game also helps measure users’ progress and changes in their choices.
The project is aimed at children in primary schools who have some influence on their diet composition or can use online, mobile and VR games together with their parents in order to become more conscious consumers.
Consortium: University of Warsaw, Maspex