Boosting vegetable consumption through diet (VegeEze) (VG16071)
What was it all about?
This investment delivered an innovative tool to help consumers understand and increase their vegetable intake – an app called VegEze, which challenges people to eat more vegetables. iPhone users can download the app from the Apple App Store.
Released in mid-November 2017, the app has a game-style approach, motivating participants to add extra vegetables to their daily diets and form long-term, healthier habits through a 21-day challenge to eat three different vegetables at each dinnertime. There are daily reminders and rewards throughout, and the app comes with educational resources such as a visual guide to serving sizes for specific vegetables, plus recipes and nutritional information.
The idea behind the app came from previous levy-funded research with the CSIRO (MT16008), which demonstrated a positive relationship between the number of different types of vegetables Australian adults eat and their overall vegetable intake.
To help further understand vegetable consumption and how education initiatives can boost it, the project team also looked at how effective the VegEze app’s game-like nature was at helping transform people’s eating patterns, with assessments on app users’ vegetable intake upon downloading the app, at 21 days and then at 90 days.
More than 5000 Australians downloaded the VegEze app and completed the baseline survey in the project’s run. About a quarter completed the 21-day survey and 273 people (5 per cent) completed the 90-day survey.
Key results included…
- On average, vegetable intake had increased by about half a serve per day over the 21-day challenge period
- At 21 days, more than 80 per cent of participants ‘always’ or ‘usually’ consumed three vegetable serves at dinner, which increased to almost 90 per cent of participants who reported intake at the 90-day follow-up
- Almost a quarter of the sample that completed the 21-day survey met the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommendations for vegetable intake
- Those with low vegetable intake at baseline significantly increased their intake by 1-1.2 serves a day at 21 days
- Obese participants who completed the 90-day survey increased their vegetable intake by 0.6 serves a day at 21 days and by 0.8 serves a day at 90 days.
Read about and download the VegEze app from the App Store (iPhone users)
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation
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