Research project: Easier choices for public health -behavioral insights in policy making
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Hjärt-Lungfonden, Sweden
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1608
Background and Objective: Public health in Sweden is facing major challenges. Like in many countries the population is less physically active, eating habit have deteriorated, and the obesity trend shows an increase across the entire population, and in fact accelerates over time. Many countries are exploring policy options with basis in behavioral science to counteract the negative trend. Under the flag of “Public Health for all” The Swedish Heart and Lung Foundation and Swedish Cancer Society in collaboration with the Behavioral Insights Team at PBM in 2021 initiated a new research project. The objective was to investigate the application of behavioral insights in grocery stores to influence healthier consumer choices. This with the overall aim to provide new research and contribute to evidence-based policy making in the sphere of public health. Methods: The research project includes theoretical explanation and dissemination of behavioral insights through a first report launched in September 2022. This report [1] covers examples on successful interventions other countries, and was launched at a seminar with representatives from civil society, industry, and government authorities to further spur joint policy discussions. In the second phase of the project, concepts (3) were designed, applied, and evaluated in grocery stores. This targeting e.g. price, position, information and social norms. Implementation was done in close cooperation with a local food chain and targeting healthier bread consumption. The project rests on a solid methodological framework COM-B model for behavior change [2] (and Behavior Change Wheel and Behavior Change Technique). The project has received attention through press and outreach. Results The practical application of project clearly shows how behavioral insights can influence healthier choices and inform policy discussions. Conclusions: While policy making to great extents is about influencing behavior, behavioral insight should be applied to greater extent in policy making. Links: ------[1] [2]