The food environment of health care institutions in the Netherlands

Ambition of the National Prevention Agreement is that in 2030 all hospitals and health care settings offer healthy food to its consumers, patients, clients, staff and visitors. Health care settings, environments that are all about health, fulfill an exemplary role and should opt for healthy and sustainable food environments. Yet, a full picture of the food environment in these settings, strategies- and evidence for change towards healthy and sustainable food environments are lacking. Co-created interventions seem to be the solution the move closer to the real world and increase adoption and impact of research.

Objective of this PhD-project is to investigate how different types of health care settings in the Netherlands (hospitals, nursing homes, health care institutions for people with intellectual disabilities, mental health care institutions and revalidation centers) can long lastingly improve their institutional food environment to stimulate healthy and sustainable food choices for patients, clients, visitors and staff. Interventions will be co-created and evaluated on effectiveness in improving dietary behaviour in health care settings. Furthermore, implementation will be evaluated to examine how interventions can be adapted to specific settings thereby enhancing effectiveness and maintenance.

This PhD-project will be conducted from September 2020 – September 2024 and is part of the ‘Regio Deal Foodvalley’. The Regio Deal Foodvalley is a collaboration between the Dutch Government and different regional governments, entrepreneurs, education- and knowledge institutions. Ambition is to make the Foodvalley region at the forefront of healthy and sustainable food consumption.