CSIRO turns eating veggies into a game with app

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 13th November 2017

The CSIRO has turned to gamification to help make eating vegetables appealing.

Utilising technology, CSIRO scientists have created an app which challenges users to eat three different vegetables at dinner for 21 days.

The ‘VegEze’ app also sends daily reminders and rewards to help keep users motivated.

CSIRO Senior Principal Research Scientist, Professor Manny Noakes, said a fresh approach is needed to help improve Australian diets.

“Our research found two out of three Australian adults are not eating enough vegetables, especially as part of their evening meal,” Professor Noakes said.

“It’s time to find more engaging, effective approaches to help break these entrenched diet habits.”

The app is designed to help Australians overcome the barriers preventing them from overeating, including lack of time, awareness and confidence.

“To help people overcome these barriers, the VegEze app features educational resources such as a visual guide to specific vegetable serve sizes, vegetable recipes, nutritional information and motivational rewards,” the CSIRO said.

Data collected from app users will be used by the CSIRO to further understand Australian eating habits and whether similar apps could help improve diets.

VegEze was developed in partnership with Horticulture Innovation, an Australian produce growers owned research and development company.

Horticulture Innovation Chief Executive, John Llyod, said the vegetable consumption findings from the app will help Australian farmers cater to consumer needs.

“Consumer preferences are changing all the time – now it’s pre-packed convenience foods, as well as veggies such as kale and sweet potato. In the not too distant future it could be something else consumers are enjoying,” 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.”

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