Webinar: Understanding and engaging adolescents in improving the healthiness of their food choices.

Dr. Ellen Van Kleef is an Associate Professor in the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour group of Wageningen University. Ellen’s research focuses on the driving forces behind consumer food choices, specifically focused on the role of the (digital) environment on consumer choices. Her research also focuses on environmental and individual interventions for healthy and sustainable eating.


Adolescence is a transitional period in life with important developmental, social and environmental changes which influence eating behaviours. Adolescents increasingly act on their own when it comes to food purchases and consumption. Also, school environment transitions may change eating patterns. I will discuss factors that drive these changes, such as the role of social media food marketing, individual food-related autonomy and supportive parenting practices. To develop effective approaches to promote healthy diets in this key life period, it is important to understand how to involve young people in the development of interventions to give them a feeling of ownership. I will conclude my talk with presenting a research project that studied student engagement in school canteen design. Results of this project also show the effect of increasing the availability of healthier foods in school canteens on sales, student attitude and self-reported behaviour.

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