Changing Diets – Testing the Impact of Knowledge and Information Nudges on Sustainable Dietary Choices

Journal of Environmental Psychology, Forthcoming. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101610

51 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2021 Last revised: 19 Apr 2021

See all articles by Meike Morren

Meike Morren

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics

Jantsje M. Mol

University of Amsterdam - Center for Experimental Economics and Political Decision Making (CREED)

Julia Blasch

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)

Ziga Malek

VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)

Date Written: March 9, 2021

Abstract

A shift to more sustainable diets is needed to ensure food security and to reduce the pressure on the environment. Yet, many consumers have misconceptions about the environmental impacts of their diets and lack knowledge on how to prepare sustainable meals. This study uses a mixed-methods approach to develop four information nudges and to test their impact on dietary choices among a representative sample of Dutch consumers. A 2x2 between-subjects design crossing type of information (procedural versus declarative) with type of impacts (health versus environmental) is applied. The environmental impact is measured in terms of CO2 emissions, land use and water use. We find that pre-intervention knowledge about sustainable or healthy diets is related to the sustainability of participants' dietary choices. Procedural knowledge on how to prepare a healthier meal has the greatest potential to influence dietary behavior, in particular for participants without prior self-reported dietary restrictions.

Note:
Trial Registration: http://aspredicted.org/blind.php?x=dg8qp7: https://nam03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Faspredicted.org%2Fblind.php%3Fx%3Ddg8qp7&data=04%7C01%7Csupport%40ssrn.com%7Cd7f77884cff94f4b159008d8dedaeca7%7C9274ee3f94254109a27f9fb15c10675d%7C0%7C0%7C637504379460786275%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=CmGrYiNRz7b5yDbdv27pkkY7DmQN0Q3Wo1OqIESFsv4%3D&reserved=0

Funding Statement: The research was funded through internal funding obtained from the Amsterdam Sustainability Institute.

Declaration of Interests: The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethic Approval Statement: The university's ethics committee approved the study in March 2020.

Keywords: Food Choices, Declarative Knowledge, Procedural Knowledge, Health Motivations, Environmental Motivations

Suggested Citation

Morren, Meike and Mol, J. M. and Blasch, Julia and Malek, Ziga, Changing Diets – Testing the Impact of Knowledge and Information Nudges on Sustainable Dietary Choices (March 9, 2021). Journal of Environmental Psychology, Forthcoming. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101610, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3765248 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3765248

Meike Morren

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

J. M. Mol (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Center for Experimental Economics and Political Decision Making (CREED) ( email )

Netherlands

Julia Blasch

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) ( email )

De Boelelaan 1087
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

Ziga Malek

VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) ( email )

De Boelelaan 1087
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

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