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  • Katrien Verbeke

Food environments x citizen science

We are increasingly realizing that our food environment determines what and when we eat. The societal health challenges we face are not due to a collective preference for unhealthy eating. Instead, it's because our environment repeatedly presents us with less healthy choices. In recent decades, our food environment has changed and been organized in a way that makes it increasingly easy for us to indulge in the consumption of unhealthy, calorie-rich food.

The overarching research question for this citizen science project is as follows: "What foods do different Flemish population groups buy, where, and why, and in their opinion, how could that be steered towards a healthy and sustainable diet?" We are collaborating with citizens to find answers to these questions. Using an app, website, play methodologies, and feedback systems, we encourage Flemish citizens to indicate what foods they purchase, where and why, and how they believe it can be adjusted towards a healthy and sustainable dietary pattern.

In this way, we aim to enable the following steps to address the food environment and assist stakeholders in navigating this process.

This research project is a collaboration between Let us, Sciensano, KUL, Rikolto, ILVO, Hoplr, Het Nieuwsblad with the support of the Flemish government.

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