Encouraging Healthy Food Choices with Traffic-Light Labels and Choice Architecture (HLOL #195)

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:

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.”

Read a transcript of this podcast

Communicating About Food in Culturally Sensitive Ways (HLOL #159)

j-o-frempong-photoJanet Ohene-Frempong, MS, is a plain language and cross-cultural communications consultant with over 25 years of experience in consumer communications. She brings to this work a passion for health literacy and background as a registered dietitian. Janet often is invited to speak at national conferences and provides consultation on plain language and cross-cultural communications for a wide range of health information providers. Deservedly, Janet has received many honors and accolades for her work.

In this podcast, Janet Ohene-Frempong and Helen Osborne discuss:

  • Communicating about food in a multicultural world. Why this matters today.
  • Issues to consider such as whether foods are available, affordable, convenient, appropriate, and familiar.
  • Examples of respectful and inclusive ways to communicate about food. Why doing so is not only appropriate but also can be deeply satisfying and gratifying.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 1, 13, 18, 27

Read the transcript for this podcast.