Emily Carr’s Health Design Lab was asked to engage in a collaborative design research project with the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and its partners, to consider how to use “nudge” theory and social marketing strategy to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in a primary target demographic of principle household decision-makers/grocery shoppers between the ages of 25-45 years.
A stated goal of BC ‘s Guiding Framework for Public Health is to increase the proportion of residents (age 12+) who consume at least five servings of vegetables and fruit per day. Since the goal was set, rates have remained largely unchanged. To address this challenge, the Healthy Living and Health Promotion Branch at the BC Ministry of Health are working with PHSA as well as other key health stakeholders, like the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) and regional hearth authorities to enhance efforts by purposefully aligning strategies and tactics, while using innovative principles in the field of choice architecture (i.e. “nudge” theory) and implementation science. Nudge is the theory that uses the principles behind behavioural economics to help influence people’s decisions and in the case of social good, applying that towards healthier choices. Implementation science studies the use of strategies to adapt and use evidence-based interventions in targeted settings (in this case, grocery stores) to sustain population health improvements.