Food for Thought
November 2017
During the Food For Thought meetings researchers present their current projects and general avenues of investigation. The aim is to promote fruitful interdisciplinary cooperation, especially between Institutes. With this in mind, this year's theme is "passing the baton": at each meeting speakers from various Institutes will address a single subject from varying perspectives.

More than a thousand words... Using images as a tool to promote health
Living a healthy life seems so simple. With today's knowledge, we know which day-to-day decisions and behaviors benefit our health and which compromise it. So why is it still so difficult to keep our New Year's resolutions? To get up off that couch, favor salads over pizzas, avoid significant amounts of alcohol, and cut out those cigarettes once and for all... to name but a few of our most common guilty pleasures? 

Health psychology offers insight as to why people may or may not be motivated to change their health behavior. In the upcoming Food for Thought meeting, two colleagues from the departments of Health, Medical and Neuropsychology and Child and Family Science will share their experience in using images as effective behavior-change techniques to motivate people to foster healthy behavior in themselves and their children. 

Dr. Winnie Gebhardt, Associate Professor at the department of Health, Medical and Neuropsychology, will present some of her research that illustrates how identity processes can be understood and how this helps us to influence health behaviors. One of the basic tenets of the approach is that people are more likely to behave in line with how they perceive themselves than to act in conflict with this. The interventions based on this approach are highly individualized, as participants generate their own self-conceptions, both in written and graphic form (through pictures/photos). The focus is not so much on how one sees oneself in the present, but rather on how one hopes or fears to be in the future: one's so-called desired and feared possible selves. Some striking examples will be given of how visualizing oneself in the future may prove a strong incentive to change behavior, mainly within the context of quitting smoking.

Dr. Shelley van der Veek, Assistant Professor at the department of Child and Family Science, will highlight the importance of promoting a healthy eating pattern right from the very start of eating solid foods in infancy, as a means of early obesity prevention. She will discuss the content of a video-feedback intervention to promote healthy parental feeding practices. This intervention is currently being tested at their department in the Baby's First Bites trial, a collaborative project between Leiden University, Wageningen University, Danone Nutricia Research, and Nutricia Early Life Nutrition.

Practical details

  • Date: 23 November 2017
  • Time: 12.00-13.00 hrs.
  • Location: 1A20
  • Registration: via Reineke Mom, 20 November at the latest so we can order lunch for you

Kind regards,

Hanna Swaab

Bij ons leer je de wereld kennen