International recognition for Food Dudes

The Bangor University academics behind the highly successful Food Dudes programme, which encourages healthy eating choices in young children and their families, are to receive an award for the way that they have adapted their scientific knowledge for a very practical purpose.

Professor Fergus Lowe and Dr Pauline Horne of Bangor University’s School of Psychology are to receive the Scientific Translation Award (Technology Transfer) from the Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Analysis at their Annual Convention in Seattle in the USA in May 2012.

The Award recognises the development and dissemination of the Food Dudes programme. It is awarded to an individual or individuals in the public or private sector who address socially significant problems using methods directly linked to behavioural analysis or that effectively incorporate behavioural principles.

 “At a time when obesity rates around the world are trending upwards and children are deprived of important nutrients found in fruit and vegetables, SABA is proud to recognise the achievements of the Food Dudes programme in improving the diets of children in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sicily, and the US. Your integration of behavioural principles through the many components of Food Dudes interventions is a model for others wishing to impact societally important behaviour,” said Maria Malott Secretary of the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis.

“The Food Dudes project is gaining global recognition for the very successful way that it can improve eating habits.  As well as winning a World Health Organisation Award for its application in Ireland and winning the UK Chief Medical Officer’s  Gold Medal Award, the Food Dudes has been adopted by the European Commission to illustrate how governments in Europe can tackle obesity.  This is a project from Bangor University that can make a real impact on the health of people in those societies worldwide that are now faced with such a major obesity challenge. I’m very pleased that the academics involved are receiving the recognition of their professional peers for their contribution,” said Prof John G Hughes, Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University.

The Food Dudes scheme, which is designed for primary schools, uses four healthy eating cartoon characters - the Food Dudes -  and a range of other behaviour change procedures to help children develop a liking for fruit and vegetables, encourage them to eat them at home and be proud that they are healthy eaters.

Publication date: 11 August 2011