Nudging Toward Sustainable Food Consumption at University Canteens: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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INTRODUCTION: This systematic literature review and meta-analysis investigated the effectiveness of the nudging approach toward sustainable food consumption in the university canteen context.

METHODS: The systematic literature search was carried out in 5 databases, Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, ProQuest, and the Royal Library, identifying 14 eligible studies and selecting 9 articles containing adequate information for meta-analysis. The nudging strategies were classified using the typology of interventions in the proximal physical microenvironments framework that resulted in 5 different intervention types: availability, position, size, presentation, and information that belonged to either intervention class-altering properties or placement.

RESULTS: The study identified presentation, availability, and information as the most promising nudge intervention for achieving sustainable food consumption at the university canteen or similar settings. Nudging by altering the properties had a small effect size (d = 0.16), and nudging by altering placement showed a medium effect size (d = 0.21).

DISCUSSION: Nudging interventions implemented after understanding consumers' current behavior showed positive effectiveness toward sustainable food consumption rather than implementing random nudges.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: It is important that future studies aim to achieve sustainable food consumption by understanding canteen user food preferences and food choice motives before designing a nudging strategy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)894-904
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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