In the developed world food is abundant and we must make choices about our food - choices in what we eat, how much we eat and when we eat. But with these choices come problems. It can be hard to make healthy decisions, often foods that are inexpensive and convenient contain a large number of calories, as a result the levels of overweight and obesity are high and rising. This has clear consequences on our health; not just diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, but psychiatric problems like anxiety and depression.
These health problems are accompanied by huge social and economic costs: they affect individuals in the midst of their working lives, impoverishing families through time lost at work and impaired employment prospects. Stress can add to these pressures, and can enhance the vicious cycle of weight-gain through “comfort eating”.
The factors that drive food choice are poorly understood. Nudge-it is devoted to developing and implementing novel scientific approaches to better understand this problem and provide evidence-based solutions.
Nudge-it is a truly inter-disciplinary project. Partners’ experience encompasses neurobiology, neuroimaging, computational modelling, economics and public policy.