Changing micronutrient intake through (voluntary) behaviour change. The case of folate

Birger B. Jensen, Liisa Lähteenmäki, Klaus G. Grunert, Kerry A. Brown, Lada Timotijevic, Julie Barnett, Richard Shepherd, Monique M. Raats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (SciVal)


The objective of this study was to relate behaviour change mechanisms to nutritionally relevant behaviour and demonstrate how the different mechanisms can affect attempts to change these behaviours. Folate was used as an example to illuminate the possibilities and challenges in inducing behaviour change. The behaviours affecting folate intake were recognised and categorised. Behaviour change mechanisms from "rational model of man", behavioural economics, health psychology and social psychology were identified and aligned against folate-related behaviours. The folate example demonstrated the complexity of mechanisms influencing possible behavioural changes, even though this only targets the intake of a single micronutrient. When considering possible options to promote folate intake, the feasibility of producing the desired outcome should be related to the mechanisms of required changes in behaviour and the possible alternatives that require no or only minor changes in behaviour. Dissecting the theories provides new approaches to food-related behaviour that will aid the development of batteries of policy options when targeting nutritional problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1022
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012


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