Deakin University

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The effectiveness of interventions delivered using digital food environments to encourage healthy food choices: A systematic review and meta-analysis

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-15, 02:55 authored by R Wyse, JK Jackson, T Delaney, A Grady, F Stacey, L Wolfenden, C Barnes, M McLaughlin, Serene YoongSerene Yoong
Digital food environments are now commonplace across many food service and retail set-tings, influencing how the population orders and accesses foods. As such, digital food environments represent a novel platform to deliver strategies to improve public health nutrition. The purpose of this review was to explore the impact of dietary interventions embedded within online food ordering systems, on user selection and purchase of healthier foods and beverages. A systematic search of eight electronic databases and grey literature sources was conducted up to October 2020. Eligible studies were randomized controlled trials and controlled trials, designed to encourage the selection and purchase of healthier products and/or discourage the selection and purchase of less-healthy products using strategies delivered via real-world online food ordering systems. A total of 9441 articles underwent title and abstract screening, 140 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility, and 11 articles were included in the review. Meta-analysis of seven studies indicated that interventions delivered via online food ordering systems are effective in reducing the energy content of online food purchases (standardized mean difference (SMD): −0.34, p = 0.01). Meta-analyses including three studies each suggest that these interventions may also be effective in reducing the fat (SMD: −0.83, p = 0.04), saturated fat (SMD: −0.7, p = 0.008) and sodium content (SMD: −0.43, p = 0.01) of online food purchases. Given the ongoing growth in the use of online food ordering systems, future research to determine how we can best utilize these systems to support public health nutrition is warranted.