Unhealthy food environments contribute to high and increasing rates of obesity. There is growing evidence that interventions that target the food environment may be effective at reducing energy intake. The current study aimed to investigate whether two such interventions could result in people buying food and drinks that are lower in calories.
Tobacco (smoking) retail displays are banned in many countries, including in England. Following a ban, tobacco products are often stored within covered units, although typically the units are visible and positioned below tobacco signage. These bans are put in place because tobacco retail displays are linked to increased smoking among adults, and greater susceptibility to smoking among young people, leading to poorer health.
There is no equivalent ban on displays of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or smoking paraphernalia (products such as cigarette lighters) in England, which are often positioned alongside covered tobacco storage units.
Our new publication is out which addresses the global threats to population and planetary health requires changing many behaviours at scale. This demands consideration not only of the effect size of an intervention but also its reach – the proportion of the population exposed to the intervention.
We propose that a relatively under-researched and generally poorly specified set of interventions involving changes to physical micro-environments – often referred to as Choice Architecture – has the potential to make a significant contribution to meeting this urgent challenge.