This project manifested as VegEze: an iOS mobile app that challenges Australians to eat 3 types of vegetables at dinner or their main meal for 21 days.

The target behaviour was identified in an analysis of the previous Hort Innovation funded project Fruit, Vegetables and Diet Score (MT16008) which revealed that people who ‘always’ have 3 different types of vegetables at dinner or their main meal have higher overall vegetable intake.

The project was a collaboration between SP Health, CSIRO and Hort Innovation. IP in the project is shared 70% to SP Health/CSIRO and 30% to Hort Innovation.

Launched in November 2017 as a community research study, VegEze attracted over 5,000 study participants between November 2017 and May 2018. The Apple® ResearchKit® software was used to deliver validated surveys to participants at baseline, 21 and 90 days to measure the impact of the app on vegetable intake – in terms of amount and variety consumed.

The app also provided participants with features to help them put the target behaviour into practice including a vegetable log, recipes and meal ideas, tips, feedback and awards for completing the challenge.

In total, 1224 Australians completed the 21-day survey measuring changes in their vegetable consumption, and 273 completed the 90-day survey measuring maintenance of these changes.

The study found that use of the app resulted in an average increase in vegetable intake of 0.5 serves a day over the 21-day challenge period, with participants who had the lowest vegetable intake at baseline increasing their consumption by more than a serve per day.