Physical Environment Interventions

What is the potential impact of calorie labelling in worksite cafeterias? A pilot study

Reducing excess consumption of food and drink is core to tackling the high prevalence of overweight and obesity in the UK and elsewhere. In this paper we provide the results of a pilot trial estimating the potential impact of calorie labelling on energy purchased across six worksite cafeterias. Post-intervention feedback amongst cafeteria patrons and worksite managers and caterers suggested high levels of acceptability. The predicted effect of labelling to reduce energy purchased was only evident at one out of six sites studied.

Impact of calorie labelling in worksite cafeterias: a stepped wedge randomised controlled pilot trial. Vasiljevic M, Cartwright E, Pilling M, Lee M-M, Bignardi G, Pechey R, Hollands GJ, Jebb SA, Marteau TM, 2018

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Understanding interventions that change behaviour outside of conscious awareness

In a paper published in Health Psychology Review, we have proposed a framework for describing or categorising interventions to change behaviour by the degree to which their effects may be considered non-conscious. This is important because unhealthy behaviours often occur directly in response to environmental cues outside of conscious awareness, meaning that interventions that target non-conscious rather than conscious processes may have significant potential to shape healthier behaviours and improve health. However, examining this key premise requires a practicable conceptual framework that can be used to better describe and assess these interventions. This paper builds on a previous analysis by the same authors highlighting the importance of targeting automatic processes to change behaviour, published in Science in 2012.

Non-conscious processes in changing health-related behaviour: a conceptual analysis and framework. Hollands, Marteau, & Fletcher.

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Does wine glass size and shape influence how much wine people think there is?

Does wine glass size and shape influence how much wine people think there is?

Our new study, published 23rd December 2015, in PLOS ONE, examines whether certain sizes and shapes of wine glasses may lead people to think there is more or less wine in these glasses compared to other glasses, when there’s actually the same amount.

Does Glass Size and Shape Influence Judgements of the Volume of Wine? Pechey, Attwood, Couturier, Munafò, Scott-Samuel, Woods & Marteau

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Does portion size matter?

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A new systematic review led by researchers at the Behaviour and Health Research Unit (BHRU), published on the 14th of September in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, has found the most conclusive evidence to date that people consistently consume more food and drink when offered larger-sized portions, packages or tableware than when offered smaller-sized versions.

The size of this effect, based on combining data from 61 randomised controlled trials (6,711 participants), suggests that if sustained reductions in exposure to large sizes could be achieved across the whole diet, this could reduce average daily energy consumed from food by up to 16% among adults in the UK.

Portion, package or tableware size for changing selection and consumption of food, alcohol and tobacco. Hollands, Shemilt, Marteau, Jebb, Lewis, Wei, Higgins, & Ogilvie., 2015
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