New project to promote vegetable consumption amongst children and the elderly

A new pan European project that aims to promote vegetable consumption among adolescence and elderly is to start in Denmark, France, Italy and the UK.

The aim of VeggiEAT is to take basic dishes containing ‘hidden vegetables’ to encourage more vegetable intake in school children and elderly people – the model will take account of sensory preference and attitude towards vegetable intake and hopes to show how easy it can be to eat a nutritious, vegetable-heavy diet.

Adequate intake is fundamental to a healthy balanced diet, however, EU compliance with vegetable dietary guidelines is poor and further research is required to overcome consumption barriers.   It is hoped that the study will bring benefits for European vegetable manufacturers too as it adds to the body of knowledge regarding consumer behaviour and preferences towards vegetables.

Dr Heather Hartwell, an associate professor in nutrition at Bournemouth University and principal investigator in the project, said, “This research will not only bring new information about the mapping of hospitality practice within the wider public health agenda but it will also play a major contribution towards evidence based practice for the EU Consumer Policy Strategy and to the Action Plan on Food and Nutrition Policy. The potential value of this research, therefore, to inform public health policy and strategy is identifiable.”

VeggiEAT is an industry-academia partnership led by Bournemouth University, UK with academic partners Aalborg University and the University of Florence and industrial/SME partners Bonduelle and the Institut Paul Bocuse Research Centre.  The project will run from October 2013 to October 2017.