Theses and Internships at the Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles group

Students from Wageningen University can write their Bachelor or Master thesis with the chairgroup Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles (CHL)

Below you will find a list of CHL staff members with their topics of expertise. If you see a topic that you find interesting, or you have an idea about a suitable topic which fits in the CHL profile, you can contact the particular staff member to make an appointment or contact the education coordinator.

CHL also especially welcomes those students who wish to contribute to ongoing research of staff members. In both cases students can expect full support from supervisors. The CHL group also mediates in various internship opportunities in the Netherlands and abroad.

For more information on thesis topics and supervision contact the education coordinator: dr. Hilje van der Horst

Thesis topics

Prof.dr. Emely de Vet

  • Psychology of eating
  • Behaviour change strategies
  • Food environments and spatial design
  • Nutrition education
  • Nudging
  • Design research for interventions
  • eHealth and technology for healthy lifestyles
  • Self-regulation processes in health behaviour (e.g., goal setting, planning, time orientation, inhibition and self-control, impulsivity, attention and memory)
  • Behavioural explanations for health inequalities
  • Health behaviour in children and adolescents

Dr.ir. Annemien Haveman

  • Dietary patterns, dietary behaviour
  • Implementation and adaptation of lifestyle interventions in real-life settings
  • Process and effect evaluations of public health intervention
  • Nutrition education
  • Healthy ageing
  • Public health epidemiology

For specific projects, see the website of Academic Collaborative Centre AGORA (www.aw-agora.nl)

Ir. Carja Butijn

General topics

  • Consumer and technology from the user-perspective
  • Application of technology in daily setting at household level
  • Household production and care issues analysed by means of Practice theory
  • Durability in the context of daily care e.g. food handling, preparation and quality

Health and society

  • Inequalities in health (global), e.g.:
    - How can the acceptance of improved sanitary technologies in developing countries be improved?;
    - What are the health effects over the life course of the use of different cooking technologies?
  • Inequalities in food, e.g.: - What is the influence of cooking technologies on food security?

Consumer studies

  • Relation between food preparation and quality
  • Effects of measures towards durability and effects on health
  • Use, appropriation and appreciation of technology by users
  • Causes of change in food systems and appropriation in daily activities

Dr. Hilje van der Horst

Health and society

  • Food insecurity in the Global North, e.g. Food Banks
  • Critical Public Health
  • Disability studies, e.g disability and empowerment
  • Informal care

Consumer studies

  • Food insecurity in the Global North, e.g. Food Banks
  • Ethical consumption practices, e.g. relating to sustainability
  • Intersections of consumption and care, e.g. lunch boxes
  • Migration and ethnicity, e.g. ethnic food, health

Dr. Hester Moerbeek

Health and society (but also for interested students of consumer studies)

Inequalities within households (relating to care and well-being), e.g.:

  • The difference between siblings (either between brothers and sisters, or first child; second child and so on) in care for the parents during old age.
  • Do parents provide their children with equal chances on things like: education; music lessons; sport lessons; tutoring or other extracurricular activities (in short: cultural capital)?

Consumer studies

  • Political consumption: topics related to how people express their (policital) thoughts and beliefs through their consumption patterns. For instance vegetarians or veganists.
  • Topics related to cultural capital, as expressed by Bourdieu, and status goods.

Social capital

I am a specialist on social capital, so any topic that is related to social capital, or social capital related to any topic is open for discussion.

Dr. Chizu Sato

Everyday consumption practice from a gender and diversity perspective

Gender, empowerment & development
Examples:

  • Market-based approaches to women’s empowerment
  • Ethical consumption via cause marketing that targets helping distant humans (e.g., women, children in the global South) and non-humans (nature) in the global North

Gender, consumption & caring humans and nature
Examples:

  • Role of everyday consumption practice performed by (elderly, migrant, and/or farm) women and men in caring humans and nature
  • Community (food) economies
  • Multispecies commons & commoning

Community “health” economies
Examples:

  • Community organized care, such as caring for old people who are living alone, is organized by a community-based organization (e.g., “Zuid Doet Samen” in Apeldoorn-Zuid)
  • Caring humans and nonhumans through community-based organizations (e.g., care farms, farm restaurant)

Transnational care

Market-based approaches to health
Examples:

  • Cause-related marketing, such as Pink Ribbons, Product RED, in the global North
  • Direct selling in the global South

Gender, media representations and health

Dr. Jantien van Berkel

Integrative approaches of well-being

In order to promote health or well-being effectively, it is increasingly recognized that interventions should not focus on only one domain (for example physical health), but on more domains (for example social domain and physical health). To illustrate: to aim for smoking cessation is incredibly difficult, when people are experiencing stress from life events (e.g. divorce, unemployment, etc.) they are currently going through. In that case, to quit smoking is simply not their top priority. It is deemed more effective to help people with their (financial, social, family) problems, reduce stress and then aim for smoking cessation.

It seems however from ongoing studies, that the actual integration (and often collaboration) of multiple domains is difficult. To gain insight in what barriers and facilitators could play a role in the implementation process of integrative approaches, and what (successful) integrative approaches currently exist, a literature review would be very helpful. With your BSc thesis on this topic, you can contribute to getting this overview.

Possible research questions are:

  • What frameworks, theories and models for integrated approaches of well-being currently exist?
  • What are (successful) integrative interventions for well-being currently exist?
  • What are barriers and facilitators in the implementation process of integrative approaches for well-being?

Diversity in worksite health promotion

The World Health Organization has identified the work setting as one of the most important settings for health promotion.

There are numerous interventions for health promotion at the worksite, ranging from corporate fitness and providing fruit at work, to vitality coaching and mindfulness training.

Research shows that effectiveness and reach differs between different subgroups.

A possible explanation is that diversity in culture, SES, gender, etc. has not been taken into account adequately, despite growing attention for diversity. Hence, creating insight in the way diversity is given shape in worksite health promotion is warranted.

You can contribute to getting more insight by exploring a particular topic in your BSc thesis.

Possible research questions relating to this topic are:

  • How is diversity conceptualised in worksite health promotion research?
  • To what extent is diversity taken into account in worksite health promotion interventions?

Financial stress and health

You may have heard on the Dutch news recently that Dutch HBO-students who experience financial stress, also experience (health) problems such as headaches, and difficulty with sleeping. More and more, the importance of financial well-being is recognized, also for other domains of well-being. For example, the work of Eldar Shafir (on scarcity) shows that living in poverty might have serious consequences for cognitive functions and attention.

To ultimately be able to design interventions aiming at well-being in financial, physical, mental and social perspective, creating a state-of-the-art overview of the literature is warranted. With your BSc thesis on this topic, you can contribute to getting this overview.

Possible research questions relating to this topic are:

  • What impact does financial stress have on well-being?
  • What outcomes are affected by financial stress?
  • What interventions aiming at financial well-being currently exist?

Templates Master Thesis topics

Dr. Maartje Bulkens

General topics

  • Participatory processes
  • Governance
  • Gender and sexuality

Health and society

  • Processes of policymaking on and in healthcare
  • The relation between the environment/nature and health
  • Psychiatry and daily life
  • Topics covering alternative medicine and therapies
  • Topics related to palliative care

Consumer studies

  • Consumption landscapes and places
  • Consumption as leisure or tourist practices
  • Participatory practices of consumption
  • Practices of consumption around one's end of life

Ir. Laura Winkens

  • Influence of tempting food environments/the obesogenic environment on food intake
  • Changing individual or contextual characteristics to make people less susceptible to food-related influences from the environment (e.g. normative cues or resisting temptations through increased mindful eating)
  • Changing dietary intake and eating behaviours
  • Mindful eating
  • Lifestyle interventions (for depression, cognitive decline, overweight etc.).
  • Interventions using new technologies, e.g. location based communication to follow and prompt people in real-life situations

Dr. Monique Simons

  • Persuasive technologies for healthy lifestyle promotion, e.g. serious games, gamification, playful interactions, wearables, mHealth
  • Context-aware healthy lifestyle interventions, e.g. location-based games, beacons
  • Gamifying Urban Health: interactions between (Game) Technologies, Public Spaces and Health behaviours
  • Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions: providing the ‘right’ type of health behaviour support, at the ‘right’ moments
  • Data Science for healthy lifestyle promotion, e.g. data-driven interventions, reinforcement learning for adaptively personalization  
  • Health behaviour change maintenance

Dr. Stefan Wahlen

General topics
  • policies and politics of healthy lifestyle and sustainable living
  • consumer policy (e.g. stakeholders promoting more healthy or sustainable living)
  • lifestyle movements (e.g. meat politics)
  • food practices (e.g. on sustainable eating, food waste, snacking)
  • sharing economies and collaborative lifestyle
Health and society
1. eating (meat or not) as a social and political phenomenon
  • masculinity and care in barbequing
  • the role of the consumer for animal welfare,
  • vegetarianism / raw food as lifestyle movement,
  • what is healthy on healthy eating
  • dumpster diving
2. collaborative lifestyles
  • policies adjusting to changing ways of healthy living in the sharing economy (AirBNB, uber, etc.)
  • citizens as consumers: how local initiative of consumer groups can be supported by policy
  • mediation junction in regulating offline / online networks
  • problems of consumer policies in the sharing economy
Consumer studies
3. collaborative lifestyles
  • consumers in alternative food networks such as foodsharing
  • consumer collectives in online / offline networks
  • new technologies connecting consumers and advancing change
  • sustainable energy consumption promoted by prosumer collectives
  • timebanking as alternative system of provision and driver for change
4. eating (meat or not) as a social and political phenomenon
  • policies to promote healthy and sustainable eating
  • the consumer in European food policies
  • how do policies affect what we are eating, e.g. meat
  • food labelling

Dr. Jonas House

General topics

  • Novel foods
  • Edibility
  • Innovations

Health and society

  • Dietary change
  • Meat reduction and replacement
  • Sociological dimensions of ‘healthy’ diets

Consumer studies

  • Public acceptance of innovations
  • Changing social practices and public tastes
  • The role of production in shaping consumption (and vice versa)