Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

‘Change4Life Smart Swaps’: quasi-experimental evaluation of a natural experiment

  • Wendy L Wrieden (a1) and Louis B Levy (a2)

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the impact on food purchasing behaviour of the ‘Change4Life Smart Swaps’ campaign to encourage families to make small changes to lower-fat or lower-sugar versions of commonly eaten foods and drinks.

Design

Quasi-experimental study comparing the proportion of swaps made by an intervention group (267 families who had signed up to the ‘Smart Swaps’ campaign promoted through various media, including television and radio advertising in early 2014) and a comparison group (135 families resident in Wales, signed up for ‘Change4Life’ materials, but not directly exposed to the ‘Smart Swaps’ campaign). During weeks 1, 2 and 3 of the campaign participants were asked to record their purchases of dairy products, carbonated drinks and breakfast cereals, using a mobile phone app questionnaire, when making a purchase within the category.

Setting

England and Wales.

Subjects

Families registered with ‘Change4Life’.

Results

In weeks 2 and 3 a significantly higher percentage of the intervention group had made ‘smart swaps’ than the comparison group. After week 3, 58 % of participants had swapped to a lower-fat dairy product compared with 26 % of the comparison group (P<0·001), 32 % of the intervention group had purchased a lower-sugar drink compared with 19 % of the comparison group (P=0·01), and 24 % had made a change to a lower-sugar cereal compared with 12 % of the comparison group (P=0·009).

Conclusions

In the short term a national campaign to change purchase habits towards healthier products may have some merit but the sustainability of change requires further investigation.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      ‘Change4Life Smart Swaps’: quasi-experimental evaluation of a natural experiment
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      ‘Change4Life Smart Swaps’: quasi-experimental evaluation of a natural experiment
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      ‘Change4Life Smart Swaps’: quasi-experimental evaluation of a natural experiment
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: Email wendy.wrieden@newcastle.ac.uk

References

Hide All
1. Craig, R & Mindell, J (2014) Health Survey for England 2013. London: The Information Centre.
2. Government Office for Science (2007) Foresight: Tackling Obesities – Future Choices. Project Report. London: Government Office for Science.
3. Bates, B, Lennox, A, Prentice, A et al. (2014) National Diet and Nutrition Survey. Results from Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2008/2009–2011/2012). London: Public Health England.
4. Croker, H, Lucas, R & Wardle, J (2012) Cluster-randomised trial to evaluate the ‘Change for Life’ mass media/social marketing campaign in the UK. BMC Public Health 12, 404.
5. Puhl, R, Peterson, JL & Luedicke, J (2013) Fighting obesity or obese persons? Public perceptions of obesity-related health messages. Int J Obes (Lond) 37, 774782.
6. Avenell, A, Sattar, N & Lean, M (2006) ABC of obesity. Management: Part I – behaviour change, diet, and activity. BMJ 333, 740743.
7. Michie, S, Ashford, S, Sniehotta, FF et al. (2011) A refined taxonomy of behaviour change techniques to help people change their physical activity and healthy eating behaviours: the CALO-RE taxonomy. Psychol Health 26, 14791498.
8. Dombrowski, SU, Knittle, K, Avenell, A et al. (2014) Long term maintenance of weight loss with non-surgical interventions in obese adults: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials. BMJ 348, g2646.
9. Hill, JO (2009) Can a small-changes approach help address the obesity epidemic? A report of the Joint Task Force of the American Society for Nutrition, Institute of Food Technologists, and International Food Information Council. Am J Clin Nutr 89, 477484.
10. Rodearmel, SJ, Wyatt, HR, Stroebele, N et al. (2007) Small changes in dietary sugar and physical activity as an approach to preventing excessive weight gain: the America on the Move family study. Pediatrics 120, e869e879.
11. Verger, EO, Holmes, BA, Huneau, JF et al. (2014) Simple changes within dietary subgroups can rapidly improve the nutrient adequacy of the diet of French adults. J Nutr 144, 929936.
12. Public Health England (2014) Swap while you shop: new campaign launched to get families making healthy swaps in January. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/swap-while-you-shop-new-campaign-launched-to-get-families-making-healthy-swaps-in-january (accessed September 2015).
13. Bates, B, Lennox, A, Bates, C et al. (2011) National Diet and Nutrition Survey: Headline Results from Years 1 and 2 (combined) of the Rolling Programme (2008/2009–2009/10). London: Department of Health/Food Standards Agency.
14. Swinburn, B & Egger, G (2002) Preventive strategies against weight gain and obesity. Obes Rev 3, 289301.
15. Public Health England (2014) Public Health England Marketing Strategy: 2014–2017. London: Public Health England.
16. Padhye, NS & Jing, W (2015) Pattern of active and inactive sequences of diabetes self-monitoring in mobile phone and paper diary users. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2015, 76307633.
17. Hebert, JR, Clemow, L, Pbert, L et al. (1995) Social desirability bias in dietary self-report may compromise the validity of dietary intake measures. Int J Epidemiol 24, 389398.
18. Kipnis, V, Midthune, D, Freedman, L et al. (2002) Bias in dietary-report instruments and its implications for nutritional epidemiology. Public Health Nutr 5, 915923.

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed