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System dynamics modelling to engage community stakeholders in addressing water and sugar sweetened beverage consumption

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-08, 23:24 authored by Andrew BrownAndrew Brown, Kristy BoltonKristy Bolton, B Clarke, Penny FraserPenny Fraser, J Lowe, J Kays, PS Hovmand, Steven AllenderSteven Allender
Background: Participatory approaches to develop community-based system dynamics models to tackle complexity are promising, but research is needed in how simulation models can be developed with community stakeholders to yield significant system insights. This study presents the results of a community-based system dynamics modelling process to increase water consumption and decrease sugar sweetened beverage consumption in Portland, Victoria, a regional town in Australia. Methods: A series of group model building workshops with 11 community stakeholders addressing the topic of water and sugar sweetened beverage consumption was conducted in Portland. A simulating system dynamics model was built with stakeholders to inform action planning. Results: A system dynamics model was created to provide insight into water and sugar sweetened beverage consumption in Portland. The model included six feedback loops describing the causal effects of sugar sweetened beverage consumption habits and norms, water taste, water consumption norms, public water availability, and public health benefits. For example, the sugar sweetened beverage consumption norm loop modelled how people overestimating others’ consumption may motivate an increase in their own consumption, feeding back and further amplifying an increase in sugar sweetened beverage consumption. The model contributed to the foundation of a strong partnership to improve the taste of water and educate the public on water consumption. Conclusions: Engaging stakeholders in system dynamics modelling about water and sugar sweetened beverage consumption increased engagement and collaboration to address the problem among community stakeholders.



International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity



Article number

ARTN 118









Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal