Promoting healthier options on delivery apps would reduce obesity

Having your meal delivered to your home has become as simple as pie. On the other hand, choosing the healthiest options on the different applications take-out is still complicated. Yet according to three new studies, promoting lower-calorie options on delivery apps could help fight obesity, tells us The Independent.

According to the data collected by the researchers, highlighting the healthiest foods and restaurants would indeed help people to make more informed choices. The default offer of small portions, or the display of calories, would also work. As proof: these measures have reduced the total calorie content of take-out meals by 2 to 15% in tests carried out by the researchers.

“Our findings suggest that simple interventions could help people choose lower-calorie options on delivery apps without needing to remove less healthy options”explains to the British media Filippo Bianchi, specialist in public health policies. “That doesn’t mean we always have to prefer a salad to a pizzabut initiatives that facilitate small changes in what we eat could help slowly reduce obesity, if implemented at scale.”

Encouraging results

The tests carried out by the team of scientists involved nearly 24,000 adults who used delivery apps. One experiment was for example to present a group with a default offer of small portions, and let a control group order normally. Result: People in the control group ordered a meal with an average of 1,411 calories, while people in the first group significantly reduced the calories in their order. “from 5.5% to 12.5% ​​on average.”

A second test consisted of highlighting the healthiest restaurants and options on the app. Again, people with access to this feature drastically reduced the calorie content of their meal.

“It will be important to test similar initiatives with real restaurants and real delivery apps to assess the long-term impact of these interventions in the real world”admet Filippo Bianchi. “However, these studies provide encouraging proof of concept that small changes in delivery apps could help many people identify and select food healthier.”

Same story from the side of Tam Fry, president of the National Obesity Forum. For him, “This meticulous research ticks all the boxes.” However, care should be taken, he said, that users can hide the calorie count if they wish, especially for those with eating disorders.

Source: by

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