Making ends meet, having enough financial resources to cover all the necessary expenses, might be challenging for many of us. The situation gets even harder for those from low socioeconomic status. The research shows that low socioeconomic status is correlated both to hardly making ends meet and higher rates of diseases; your educational level, work status, and income status decides how high are your knowledge and behavioral skills regarding healthy eating.
Like that, while possessing high SES is connected to a nutrient-dense diet, being part of low SES means focusing on an energy-dense diet. As a part of the Health in Society course, we have researched the behavioral determinants and ran the social inequality analysis to help individuals of low socioeconomic status make their ends meet on a healthy, nutrient-based diet basis.
My role: Behavioural Science Student Researcher
- Health Psychology
Awards & Achievements
- The Best Research Proposal of Health in Society Course
Eating healthy, or saving money? That is a question.
Before offering the solution, we dived into the scientific theory to equip ourselves with the relevant knowledge. Following this strategy with the marketing campaigns allows me to base my creative outputs on a solid argument, yielding the most effective results. We have discovered that within individuals of low socioeconomic status (SES) two goals are competing: money-saving and healthy-eating goals. Together with the lacking knowledge of nutrition theory, the money-saving goal often prevails and as a result, low SES tends to buy more unhealthy products.
How did we deal with it?
The education of the target audience is harder than expected, as the previous academic interventions, employing educational practice, proved to be mostly ineffective. A target audience is hard to reach and often does not appreciate the given advice. Equipped by this knowledge, our research team has decided on the more subtle approach, consisting of a gamified education solution inside the store, connected to the nudge incentive.
As a low SES group’s diet was tripping significantly over unhealthy snacking habits, consisting of high energy and low nutrition, we have decided to aim our powers in this direction. We have proposed family-sized fruit packages, ready to take away. Reminding our buyers of the purpose (affordable, healthy snack, ready to take to work or school), we have built a concrete image in their heads of them and their children, consuming the healthier snacks.
Showing the money-saving goal in the first place was utterly important in our intervention design, as our research showed this goal significantly prevails in low SES. Articulating the possibility to purchase products that are both affordable and nutritionally valuable promised the results, which could not be yielded by the mere nutrition-based educational approach of low SES groups.
Results? Victory for our research team, effective approach for people
Combining the academic approach together with the creative solutions proved to be a great success. Pitching our research proposal to the professors and our classmates, we have won the appreciation of the Best Research Proposal of the Health in Society Course and outran tens of other proposals. We have acquired our success thanks to the clever combination of relevant theory, creative practice, and presentation pitch, which stepped out of the box, concentrating our powers on the points that matter. Snacks are a small proportion of a daily diet, nevertheless often the most problematic one. By transmitting individuals to more healthy snacking solutions with ease, we can show them the healthy eating is also financially approachable after all, raising the health rates of the low socioeconomic groups.