Anne Thorndike MD, MPH is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and an internist at Massachusetts General Hospital. Much of her work focuses on individual and population-level behavioral interventions to prevent cardiometabolic disease. Through implementation research, Dr. Thorndike and her team demonstrated the effectiveness of traffic light labels, choice architecture, social norms, and financial incentives to promote healthy food choices in real-life settings, such as worksite cafeterias and supermarkets.
In this podcast, Dr. Thorndike talks with Helen Osborne about:
- A hospital cafeteria healthy eating program that uses colors, labels, and placement to guide employees, patients, and visitors toward healthier food choices.
- Research data showing the long-term effectiveness of this program.
- Lessons learned that can be applied in many settings. These include taking into account many aspects of dietary quality, not just calories. And labeling all foods, not just those that are healthy.
More ways to learn:
- “Calories Purchased by Hospital Employees After Implementation of a Cafeteria Traffic Light-Labelling and Choice Architecture Program,” by Thordike AN, Gelsomin ED, Levy DE. Published in JAMA Open Network, July 2019.
- “Choice architecture to promote fruit and vegetable purchases by families participating in the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): randomized corner store pilot study,” by Thordike AN, Bright OM, Dimond MA, FIshman R, Levy DE. Published in Public Health Nutrition, May 2017.
- “Consumer Reports Health Ratings (HLOL #75),” a Health Literacy Out Loud podcast interview with John Santa MD, MPH.
- “Choosing A Health Plan: Ways to Make This Experience Easier and More Consumer-Friendly (HLOL #87),”a Health Literacy Out Loud podcast interview with Lynn Quincy.
Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Chapter 10 is especially relevant to this podcast, “Environment of Care: Entrances, Questions, Signs, and Feng Shui.”