Personalised digital nudges for healthy food choice
The NudgeME project is a newly established public private partnership between Tilburg University and mobile app company Nakko bv. that focusses on personalised digital nudges for healthy food choice in a retail application. In this project, empirical, ethical and design perspectives on personalised digital nudging techniques are assessed.
Healthy food choices can aid in both the prevention and the curation of chronic diseases like Diabetes Type 2. First, healthy eating contributes to the prevention of obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Second, as changing from unhealthy to healthy eating can reverse diabetes, innovations stimulating healthy eating can greatly reduce disease burden and associated healthcare costs. Currently, supermarkets are designed such that they stimulate people more towards unhealthy than healthy food choices, therefore innovations are needed that support individuals in making healthier food choices in retail environments.
Technological developments in retail applications allow providing nudges directly in response to in-store behaviour and personalised to the consumer. In the NudgeMe project, they will assess if these personalised digital nudges are more effective than generic nudges and assess the mechanisms through which personalisation may amplify nudging effects. Further, a nuanced ethical framework for personalised digital nudges in the field of health promotion will be developed. Lastly, the technological challenges and opportunities of personalisation in mobile technology and its interaction with the physical choice environment, i.e., the supermarket, are determined.
This project is innovative in both its focus (on personalised, digital nudges) and its mixed-methods approach, using controlled lab studies and a field study in combination with ethical analyses and design-related research. The results can be employed for developing a supportive preventive environment that empowers consumers to make healthier food choices and fosters self-management in patients with chronic diseases.