BACKGROUND: Unhealthy lifestyle behaviours such as unhealthy dietary intake and insufficient physical activity (PA) tend to cluster in adults with a low socioeconomic position (SEP), putting them at high cardiometabolic disease risk. Educational approaches aiming to improve lifestyle behaviours show limited effect in this population. Using environmental and context-specific interventions may create opportunities for sustainable behaviour change. In this study protocol, we describe the design of a real-life supermarket trial combining nudging, pricing and a mobile PA app with the aim to improve lifestyle behaviours and lower cardiometabolic disease risk in adults with a low SEP.
METHODS: The Supreme Nudge trial includes nudging and pricing strategies cluster-randomised on the supermarket level, with: i) control group receiving no intervention; ii) group 1 receiving healthy food nudges (e.g., product placement or promotion); iii) group 2 receiving nudges and pricing strategies (taxing of unhealthy foods and subsidizing healthy foods). In collaboration with a Dutch supermarket chain we will select nine stores located in low SEP neighbourhoods, with the nearest competitor store at > 1 km distance and managed by a committed store manager. Across the clusters, a personalized mobile coaching app targeting walking behaviour will be randomised at the individual level, with: i) control group; ii) a group receiving the mobile PA app. All participants (target n = 1485) should be Dutch-speaking, aged 45-75 years with a low SEP and purchase more than half of their household grocery shopping at the selected supermarkets. Participants will be recruited via advertisements and mail-invitations followed by community-outreach methods. Primary outcomes are changes in systolic blood pressure, LDL-cholesterol, HbA1c and dietary intake after 12 months follow-up. Secondary outcomes are changes in diastolic blood pressure, blood lipid markers, waist circumference, steps per day, and behavioural factors including healthy food purchasing, food decision style, social cognitive factors related to nudges and to walking behaviours and customer satisfaction after 12 months follow-up. The trial will be reflexively monitored to support current and future implementation.
DISCUSSION: The findings can guide future research and public health policies on reducing lifestyle-related health inequalities, and contribute to a supermarket-based health promotion intervention implementation roadmap.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Dutch Trial Register ID NL7064, 30th of May, 2018.