DS0506 - Evolution des comportements des consommateurs et des pratiques des entreprises pour des systèmes alimentaires durables

Promoting and understanding healthy food choices in children – PUNCH


Given previous research, the two main remaining challenges toward a healthier eating behavior in children are to:<br />- Identify and understand the determinants of “what” and “how much” is eaten in infants and children, by taking into account sociological, psychological, experiential and sensory factors,<br />- Evaluate the effectiveness of innovative levers of actions in order to modify “what” and “how much” is eaten in school-aged children, exploring psychological, behavioral, and marketing tracks.

1.Understanding the drivers of the development of healthy eating behaviour in infants and children and (2) identifying efficient strategies to modify food choices in school-aged children

The scientific aims of PUNCH are to produce first quality knowledge:<br />-To describe with a qualitative perspective the food socialization process of children up to 3 years<br />-To evaluate the impact of early feeding practices on infant’s capacity to control energy intake<br />-To assess children’s sensitivity and preferences for sensory (taste) dimensions of foods; and to evaluate whether these responses may explain variability in responses to the interventions conducted within the project<br />-To assess neuronal responses to food pleasure using a functional MRI approach in children<br />-To assess the impact of sensitivity to food pleasure on food intake and food choices in normal and over-weight/obese school-aged children<br />-To assess the effectiveness of different interventions aiming at orienting choices towards healthy foods using innovative experimental methods<br />-To assess the effectiveness of different interventions aiming at harmonizing choices of mother and their children towards healthy foods<br />-To explore the influence of food cues on food choices in normal- and over-weight school-aged children<br />-To examine children’s ability to predict how much pleasure they will experience from eating various portion sizes for fruits anddesserts, <br />-To explore if pleasure-based interventions can lead children to prefer age-appropriate food portions<br />-To generate ideas for future collaborations within and beyond the PUNCH consortium.

-Development of a qualitative method to interview mothers and caregivers
-Development of a methode to measure infant's capacity to control their energy intake
-Validation of a mesure of overweight/obese children's attitudes toward food pleasure
-Development of an olfactory priming task applicable to children

1. Sensitivity of moral and overweight/obese children to food pleasure and food choices

We determined the dominant attitudinal profile of children toward food using a previously validated tool (Monnery-Patris et al., 2016): using this measure we did not observe any effect of weight status on the implicit association task, but, in the explicit task, overweight/obese children reported more nutritionnally-oriented responses («this foods makes me strong/ makes me fat«) than normal weight children. Moreover, «dissonant« profiles (implicitely hedonically-oriented but explicitely nutritionnally-oriented) were more often observe in overweight/obese children than in normal weight children (Marty et al., FQAP, 2017).

2. Effect of olfactory priming in normal and overweight/obese children on their food choices

An olfactory priming task was adapted to children. It was applied in order to measure the impact of olfactory primes on foods choices in normal and overweight/obese children. It showed that in normalweight children, pear and pound cake odors triggered choix intentions toward high energy density foods. On the contraty, in overweight/obese children, the pear odor
significanlty increase the proportion of choices towards low energy-density foods (Marty et al., Frontiers in Nutrition , 2017).

Many more studies are on-going!

1. Marty, Chambaron, Bournez, Nicklaus, Monnery-Patris (2017). Comparison of implicit and explicit attitudes towards food between normal- and overweight French children. Food Quality and Preference, Vol. 60, 145-153, ISSN 0950-3293, doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2017.04.013
2. Marty L, Bentivegna H, Nicklaus S, Monnery-Patris S, Chambaron S. Non-conscious effect of food odors on children’s food choices varies by weight status. Frontiers in Nutrition 2017;4.(http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnut.2017.00016/full)
3. Marty L, Chambaron S, Nicklaus S, Monnery-Patris S. Learned pleasure from eating: an opportunity to promote healthy eating in children? In revision.
4. Marty, Miguet, Bournez, Nicklaus, Chambaron, Monnery-Patris (in preparation). Do hedonic- versus nutrition-based attitudes towards food predict different food choices? A cross-sectional study among 6-11-year-old children. In preparation
5. Dupuy A. « Appropriation paternelle, primauté maternelle et nouvelles inégalités dans le travail alimentaire ». Soumis
6. Dupuy A., 2017, in press, « La division sexuelle du travail alimentaire : qu’est-ce qui change ? », dans Dubet F. (dir.), Que manger ? Normes et pratiques alimentaires, Paris, La Découverte.

PUNCH is a collaborative project which aims at providing efficient proposals in order to favor healthier eating behavior in children (3 months-11 years), beyond traditional approaches based on health-related information. Eating behavior will be studied in qualitative (“what” is eaten) and quantitative (“how much” is eaten) terms. PUNCH aims at (1) better understanding the determinants of infant and children’s eating behavior, by taking into account sociological, psychological, experiential, and sensory factors and (2) evaluating the effectiveness of innovative levers of actions in order to modify school-aged children’s eating behavior, exploring tracks suggested by cognitive psychology, behavior science, economics and marketing. The proposed approaches are experimental, with the exception of the sociologic approach. Interdisciplinary, PUNCH associates complementary domains of expertise (6 academic partners).
PUNCH is organized as follows: WP0: Coordination; WP1: Understanding determinants of eating behavior (WP1.1. Early determinants of capacity to control energy intake; Task 1.1.1 Impact of socialization on capacity to control energy intake; Task 1.1.2 Impact of milk feeding mode on capacity to control energy intake; WP1.2. Describing responses to food pleasure; Task 1.2.1 Influence of sensory factors on food choices; Task 1.2.2 Using brain imaging techniques to image pleasure; Task 1.2.3 Defining children’s cognitive profiles toward pleasure); WP2: Promoting children's healthy eating behavior (Task 2.1: harmonization of the procedures; Task 2.2: Assessing effect of intervention by measuring paternalism; Task 2.3: Assessing effect of priming on food choices; Task 2.4: Assessing effect of nudging on portion size); WP3: Dissemination (Task 3.1 Roadmap to future actions ; Task 3.2 Final event and dissemination).
The main expected results of PUNCH are:
-To produce the scientific grounds towards healthier eating behavior in children that could be easily transferred into practice by small changes in children’s environment (i.e. food quality, information, training and parental feeding practices),
-To produce the scientific grounds to indicate if it is easier to modify children’s food choices directly or through their parents,
- To suggest evidence-based recommendations that would target specific groups of individuals,
- In fine, to help to produce public health recommendations taking into account not only nutrition, but also social, psychological and sensory aspects of eating behavior, that could be implemented in tools for health and childhood professionals such as the Programme National Nutrition Santé guides.

Project coordinator

Madame Sophie Nicklaus (Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l'Alimentation)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


CSGA Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l'Alimentation
ESC-LESSAC Association de Gestion de l'école supérieure de commerce Dijon-Bourgogne, LESSAC (Laboratoire d'Expérimentation en Sciences Sociales et Analyse des Comportements)
ICube Laboratoire ICube
CNRS/CERTOP CNRS/Centre d'Etude et de Recherche Travail, Organisation, Pouvoir
INSEAD Institut européen d'administration des affaires
UMR-EP UMR Economie Publique, INRA-AgroParisTech

Help of the ANR 606,439 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2015 - 48 Months

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