SP.20.004 – Make the healthy choice the happy choice

Route: Sustainable production of safe and healthy food

Cluster question: 084 What is the best way for us to analyse and prevent the problem of overweight and obesity?

Despite the good intentions on food reformulation of the Dutch prevention agreement, the RIVM predicts that by 2040 60% of the Dutch population is overweight. There is a scientific and public debate whether ultra-processed foods is the major cause of overconsumption and obesity, or whether or not this can be attributed to the higher energy intake rate of ultraprocessed foods. Advances in nutrition science have consistently shown that ad libitum energy intake is predominantly determined by the energy intake rate (kcal/min) which highly depends on the structural and nutritional food properties. This project aims to understand the fundamental biological and psychological principles behind the effects of food structure/processing on satiation, calorie intake and obesity. Workpackage 1 aims to unravel the role of food ultra-processing and energy intake rate on ad libitum energy intake and body composition. WP-1 consists of a long-term nutrition intervention trial with ad libitum energy intake and body weight as primary outcome measures. Participants will be clustered on their responsiveness to energy intake rate and overconsumption. Workpackage 2 develops and tests mathematical models that predict energy intake from biophysical and compositional parameters. The resulting food design rules and tools can be applied by food technologists to create innovative, attractive foods to moderate the energy intake. WP2 is a collaboration between food technologist, industrial designers, creative chefs, food designers. This is a game-changer as it allows to make foods healthier through changes in structure, while maintaining palatability. Workpackage 3 entails dissemination to maximize the impact, to increase visibility and reach a wider audience of relevant stakeholders, including the retail, hospitality sector, food and drink industries, the media, the scientific community, policy makers, consumer organizations, and the general public.


energy intake, food, health, nutrition, obesity, satiation

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Organisation Wageningen University and Research (WUR)
Name Dr. Ir. M. (Monica) Mars
E-mail Monica.mars@wur.nl
Website https://www.wur.nl/nl/Onderzoek-Resultaten/Leerstoelgroepen/Agrotechnologie-en-Voedselwetenschappen/Humane-Voeding-en-Gezondheid.htm