The study attempted to move components of healthy eating in the desired direction. In particular, this study investigated whether an intervention to increase the visibility and accessibility of “healthy” grain buns in a clinic bistro increased the sale of these items (as is explicitly recommended in the optimized mixed diet). However, our pilot study, which proved to be feasible in the bistro routine, was stopped by restrictive public health measures due to the Corona-pandemic and did not achieve reliable results.
The Research Department of Child Nutrition (FKE) is part of the Pediatric University Clinic, Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany, since 2017. The FKE works on basic and application-oriented questions to optimize nutrition in all phases of growth and development. The calculated concept of the Optimized Mixed Diet of the FKE provides a reference frame for preventive nutrition among children and adolescents in Germany . It is applicable to the nutrition of healthy and diseased children, in families, day care centers, schools and in pediatric hospitals as well.
The prevalence of obesity is increasing in all industries, including employees of the health care sector . Food nudging seems a promising new approach to support healthy food choices. Nudging can serve as a complement to health education . Just recently, it was demonstrated that situated nudging and social marketing-based strategies were effective in promoting healthier choices of employees in their worksite cafeterias , also in a hospital cafeteria . Further research is warranted to investigate this topic in clinic bistros and canteens as promoting healthy dietary choices at the working place could ultimately help prevent and reduce obesity of employees in the health system.
On the one hand, this report shows a practical concept for examining the effects of nudging interventions in a children’s hospital. On the other hand, we highlight different aspects and levels of public health. In the present case, necessary public health precautions stop a study that examines nudging as a promising public health incentive. We want to share our feelings, namely that we as nutritionists are disappointed because we have only been able to demonstrate the feasibility but not the success of our nudging measures, combined with an understanding of these sudden changes in clinical routine due to necessary public health interventions as a response to the corona-pandemic.