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New paper finds ways of promoting healthier and more sustainable eating practices

The scoping review of the literature gathered data from more than 200 scientific publications to inform future interventions in collective meal contexts


Collective meal contexts, such as canteens or restaurants, are important arenas for changing eating practices. However, despite the growing number of interventions seeking to promote healthier and more sustainable eating practices in these contexts, there is still uncertainty regarding how best to operate change in these contexts.


“These places serve large proportions of meals every day. Therefore, any changes to these spaces have the potential to influence a very large number of people” – explains João Graça, one of the authors of the study. In this work, data from 232 scientific publications evaluating interventions targeting healthier and more sustainable eating were compiled.


The review spanned more than four decades of research and resulted in a systematization of several evidence-based intervention strategies. “Based on the information that was gathered, we were able to identify more than two dozen intervention strategies involving changes to the physical environment and social contexts, as well as others more focused on the individual, such as transmitting knowledge and skills or facilitating individual behavior change” – concludes the researcher.


This scoping review, now published in the scientific journal Appetite, hopes to support future research by providing free access to all the collected data. For audiences interested in the practical applications of these findings, a Toolkit for designing and implementing interventions in collective meal contexts is also available in the Portuguese language.

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