Using a gamified approach, CSIRO’s new VegEze app aims to motivate Australians to add extra vegetables to their daily diets and form long-term, healthier habits through a 21-day ‘Do 3 at Dinner’ challenge.
CSIRO nutritionists will also study how effective the app’s game-like nature is at helping transform people’s eating patterns, as part of a broader research study.
Challenging users to eat three different vegetables at dinner every day for 21 days, the VegEze app helps people track their intake and tally up vegetable serves, with daily reminders and rewards to help people stay motivated and on-track.
Since May 2015, CSIRO has studied the dietary habits of more than 191,000 adults for its Healthy Diet Score research.
Eating three types of vegetables as part of the evening meal was found to be a key marker in having a better diet, but further research of 1068 adults showed some Australians were being held back from eating more vegetables by low awareness, lack of time and low confidence.
To help people overcome these barriers, the VegEze app features educational resources such as a visual guide to specific vegetable serve sizes, vegetable recipes, nutritional information and motivational rewards.
Information from app users will feed back into CSIRO’s study of Australians’ vegetable consumption, while helping to analyse the app’s effectiveness as an education initiative to improve Australia’s poor vegetable score card.
VegEze has been developed in partnership with Hort Innovation. Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd said the vegetable consumption findings from the initiative will help Australian farmers cater to the needs of consumers.
The technology was developed in Australia in collaboration with digital health solution provider SP Health.
To try the 21-day Do 3 at Dinner challenge and participate in the research study, download the free VegEze app via the Apple App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/vegeze/id1268951104