Improving cardiometabolic health through nudging dietary behaviours and physical activity in low SES adults: Design of the Supreme Nudge project

Jeroen Lakerveld*, Joreintje D. Mackenbach, Femke De Boer, Boris Brandhorst, Jacqueline E.W. Broerse, Gert Jan De Bruijn, Gerda Feunekes, Marleen Gillebaart, Marjolein Harbers, Jody Hoenink, Michel Klein, Frederike Mensink, Cédric Middel, Denise T.D. De Ridder, Femke Rutters, Ivonne Sluijs, Yvonne T. Van Der Schouw, Tjerk Jan Schuitmaker, Saskia J. Te Velde, Elizabeth VelemaWilma Waterlander, Johannes Brug, Joline W.J. Beulens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Initiating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle -including healthy eating and sufficient physical activity- is key for cardiometabolic health. A health-promoting environment can facilitate a healthy lifestyle, and may be especially helpful to reach individuals with a lower socio-economic status (SES). In the Supreme Nudge project, we will study the effects of pricing and nudging strategies in the supermarket - one of the most important point-of-choice settings for food choices - and of a context-specific mobile physical activity promotion app. This paper describes the stepwise and theory-based design of Supreme Nudge, which aims to develop, implement and evaluate environmental changes for a sustained impact on lifestyle behaviours and cardiometabolic health in low SES adults. Methods: Supreme Nudge uses a multi-disciplinary and mixed methods approach, integrating participatory action research, qualitative interviews, experimental pilot studies, and a randomized controlled trial in a real-life (supermarket) setting. First, we will identify the needs, characteristics and preferences of the target group as well as of the participating supermarket chain. Second, we will conduct a series of pilot studies to test novel, promising and feasible intervention components. Third, a final selection of intervention components will be implemented in a full-scale randomised controlled supermarket trial. Approximately 1000 low SES adults will be recruited across 8-12 supermarkets and randomised at supermarket level to receive 1) no intervention (control); 2) environmental nudges such as food product placement or promotion; 3) nudges and a tailored physical activity app that provides time- and context specific feedback; 4) pricing interventions, nudges, and the physical activity app. The effects on dietary behaviours and physical activity will be evaluated at 3, 6 and 12 months, and on cardiometabolic health at 6 and 12 months. Finally, we will evaluate the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance (RE-AIM) of the intervention, and we will use insights from System Innovation and Transition Management theories to define the best strategies for implementation and upscaling beyond the study period. Discussion: The Supreme Nudge project is likely to generate thorough evidence relevant for policy and practice on the effects of a mixed method and multi-disciplinary intervention targeting dietary behaviours and physical activity. Trial registration: The real-life trial has been registered on 30 May 2018, NTR7302.

Original languageEnglish
Article number899
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2018


Supreme Nudge (CVON2016–04) is funded by the Netherlands Heart Foundation and the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw). These funding sources had no role in the design of this study and will not have any role during its execution, analyses, interpretation of the data, or decision to submit results.

FundersFunder number
Netherlands Heart Foundation
Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development


    • Cardiometabolic health
    • Dietary behaviour
    • Food environment
    • Low socio-economic status
    • M-health
    • Nudging
    • Physical activity
    • Pricing
    • Supermarket


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