Boosting our App-etite for health and wellbeing
Most of us know that eating vegetables is vital to our health, yet two in three Australian adults still don’t eat enough of them. CSIRO has developed a new app to try to change that – making for a healthier, more sustainable community.
Building on our obsession with games and mobile devices, CSIRO’s new VegEze app aims to motivate Australians to add extra vegetables to their daily diets and form long-term, healthier habits through a 21-day ‘Do 3 at Dinner’ challenge.
“We need a fresh approach to improve Australia’s vegetable consumption and overall diet quality,” CSIRO Senior Principal Research Scientist, Professor Manny Noakes said.
“Our research found two out of three Australian adults are not eating enough vegetables, especially as part of their evening meal. It’s time to find more engaging, effective approaches to help break these entrenched diet habits.”
To help with the challenge, the app has a vegetable intake tracker to tally-up your serves, with daily reminders and unlockable achievements to help keep you motivated. There’s also a visual guide to specific vegetable serve size, along with recipes, cooking tips and nutritional info.
“Committing to eating more vegetables every day is one of the most important ways we can improve our health today. Boosting your intake can be as easy as having three types of vegetables taking up half of your dinner plate,” Professor Noakes said.
“After just a few weeks using the app every day, users should feel more confident in adding more vegetables to their menu and notice some positive changes to their health and wellbeing.”
CSIRO nutritionists will also study how effective the app’s game-like nature is at helping transform people’s eating patterns, as part of a broader research study.
VegEze has been developed in Australia in partnership with Hort Innovation and collaboration with digital health solution provider SP Health.
Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd said: “Research such as that generated from this VegEze initiative helps growers stay ahead of trends, while also encouraging Australians to eat well using a wide selection of vegetable options.”
To try the 21-day ‘Do 3 at Dinner’ challenge and participate in the research study, download the free VegEze app via the Apple App Store
App-lication to Ginninderra
Good health and wellbeing are vital components of a sustainable community. Conversely poor health and high rates of chronic and complex disease provide great challenges for people and for the sustainability of health and community services.
Building ‘health and wellbeing’ into the Ginninderra initiative from the outset is an important goal for CSIRO. Urban planning, housing, transport, roads, footpaths, cultural and recreational spaces, all have a part to play, together with the activities, opportunities and technologies (like apps) on offer.
Just as VegEze hopes to motivate healthier eating, we aim to use design, infrastructure, tools and technologies to help motivate and make it easier for our community to embrace more sustainable practices across the spectrum of health, social connection, energy and water use, resource consumption, waste disposal, recycling, transport and environmental restoration.