Joreintje  Mackenbach

In January 2018, Joreintje started her project 'Making the healthy choice easier - role of the local food environment'. This project is funded by the NWO Talent Scheme Programme 'Veni' and will run until 2020. Joreintje will investigate how the food environment influences food choices, and why this may be different for different subgroups.

Joreintje is project manager of the Supreme Nudge Project. SUPREME NUDGE is a 5-year project (2017-2022) financed by the Dutch Heart Foundation and ZonMw, a Dutch national funding body for medical and health-care related research. It is coordinated by the VU University Medical Center Amsterdam and includes partners from the VU University, University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University Medical Center, Utrecht University, the Dutch Nutrition Center, Te Velde Research, SURFSara (ICT developers), Duwtje (creative designers) en supermarket chain Coop.

With SUPREME NUDGE we expand a previous successful Dutch supermarket pricing strategy intervention, and incorporate promising elements such as nudging and ICT applications to provide real-time and context-specific physical activity feedback. Targeting the environment in which health behaviour choices are made in can reduce cardiometabolic risk. Supermarkets form one of the most important point-of-choice settings with the potential to directly influence purchasing behaviors. ‘Nudges’ (small environmental encouragements) target the quick, automatic choices and do not require conscious decision making, and pricing strategies can seduce consumers to buy healthier alternatives. Such environmental cues can make it easier to initiate and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and as such, to improve cardiometabolic health. In addition, the use of theory-based mobile applications is an effective way to provide tailored and context-specific feedback on physical activity behaviors through the stimulation of ‘goal setting’ and ‘self-management’.

Joreintje is also involved in the Healthy Neighbourhoods project by Jantje Beton, IVN and the ministry of health, welfare and sports. This project aims to stimulate outdoor play and social connection in 12 Dutch neighbourhoods and runs from 2018 to 2021.

In 2017, Joreintje received an HBCD collaborative grant to build a food price database for the Netherlands, and pilot test its use with data of the Healthy Life in an Urban Setting (HELIUS) study. The food price database is now ready to be used by other researchers. For more information see the website.

Joreintje's PhD was part of the SPOTLIGHT project. This European Commission funded project ran from February 2012 - February 2016. In this project we used innovative approaches to collect data on 'obesogenic' characteristics of the residential neighbourhood: we developed a virtual audit tool to be used for remote sensing data (such as Google Streetview) and mapped 60 residential neighbourhoods across Europe. Further, we asked participants to the SPOTLIGHT survey to draw the boundaries of what they regard as their neighbourhood. This allows for a better insight in exposure to obesogenic environments. In the SPOTLIGHT survey, we collected information on sociodemographics, perceptions of the neighbourhood environment, the social neighbourhood environment, obesity-related behaviours such as physical activity, eating, sedentary behaviours, smoking and sleeping, general health, barriers towards healthy eating, barrierst towards regular physical activity and work addresses. Further, we asked individuals what was present in their neighbourhood, whether they used it, if so, why they used it (and if not; why they did not use it) and what mode of transport they used to get to this neighbourhood facility.