A novel marketing mix and choice architecture framework to nudge restaurant customers toward healthy food environments to reduce obesity in the United States.

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Abstract

This review identified and adapted choice architecture frameworks to develop a novel framework that restaurant owners could use to promote healthy food environments for customers who currently overconsume products high in fat, sugar and sodium that increase their risk of obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases. This review was conducted in three steps and presented as a narrative summary to demonstrate a proof of concept. Step 1 was a systematic review of nudge or choice architecture frameworks used to categorize strategies that cue healthy behaviours in microenvironments. We searched nine electronic databases between January 2000 and December 2016 and identified 1,244 records. Inclusion criteria led to the selection of five choice architecture frameworks, of which three were adapted and combined with marketing mix principles to highlight eight strategies (i.e. place, profile, portion, pricing, promotion, healthy default picks, prompting or priming and proximity). Step 2 involved conducting a comprehensive evidence review between January 2006 and December 2016 to identify U.S. recommendations for the restaurant sector organized by strategy. Step 3 entailed developing 12 performance metrics for the eight strategies. This framework should be tested to determine its value to assist restaurant owners to promote and socially normalize healthy food environments to reduce obesity and non-communicable diseases.

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