MIOS invests a lot in societal value creation, on top of our scientific output. Together with several organisations, the MIOS team collaborates in the development of prevention and intervention initiatives. We also develop evidence-based interventions to prevent negative online behaviour.

Media Literacy

In collaboration with Mediawijs.be, the Flemish Knowledge Centre on Media Literacy, MIOS developed several tools for teachers, parents and young people.

MIOS has participated in the development of thematic websites:

  • sexting.be (information and awareness raising in Dutch and French on sexting motives and consequences) 
  • tegencyberpesten.be (cyberbullying prevention and intervention)  
  • reclamewijs.be (on children and teens advertising literacy)

On sexting.be we have grouped information based on international and our research on motives to engage in sexting and the risks it can entail. Moreover, specific advice has been formulated for several target groups.

On tegencyberpesten.be different forms of cyberbullying are explained. The role of perpetrators, victims and bystanders is discussed. Also advice is formulated for youth and parents. How schools can develop a policy to tackle cyberbullying, is also explained.

The site reclamewijs.be has been developed within the interuniversity AdLit project that investigated children’s and adolescents’ advertising literacy. The website explains different types of advertising targeting young people. Also legal and educational recommendations are given.

Also a practical guide Mediawijs Online has been published and distrubuted in 1200 schools. MIOS also collaborated in the development of media literacy guides concerning cyberbullying, sexting and gaming.

MIOS researchers also collaborated to MOOCS and  podcasts (o.a. sexting and cyberdating abuse ).

We have also contributed several articles for the website medianest.be dedicated to parents. More particularly, advice has been formulated for parents whose children are victim, perpetrator or witness of cyberbullying.

Our team also collaborated in the development of tools to develop young people’s awareness on new forms of advertising. In the framework of the AdLit project we developed a video that explains different forms of personalised advertising and the purposes of companies when targeting advertising on social media. We also helped in developing online content on advertising and educational material.

FOOMS: Food, Media & Society

Also concerning food, we conducted intervention-studies that focus on the use of several (online) media to develop food literacy among children, young adults and adults (SBO InFLOOD project) and other target groups (e.g. our project in South Africa on entertainment media use for prevention of obesitas among women in poverty).

Increasingly, FOOMS integrates insights from food studies with narrative (health) communication and evolutionary psychology, to gain insight into the personal motives that conduct our eating behaviour. We also investigate how interaction with media content, influences attitudes, knowledge and behavior. Special attention is given to storytelling, how food and stories are related and can be used as an effective tool for health promotion. Our research focuses on three domains: Food Marketing, Food Media and Social Food Studies.

Food Marketing deals with the interaction between food producers and consumers. In this domain, we concentrate on food advertising. Food Media deals with all media content about food (except advertising that is studied within food marketing). For instance, cooking television shows, websites but also food-related information that circulates on social media and the food gurus who try to influence eating behaviour (for instance with popular cookbooks): how does it impact users? How is food portrayed in shows, messages and movies? How healthy are the diets that are promoted in different media? Social Food Studies deal with food consumption as a social process. Food is more than calories/nutrients. Several social factors do come into play. What ou eat does also construct your identity. This is experiences offline as well as online. Moreover, we investigate the impact on media use on our eating behaviour: eating together stimulates trust and collaboration. This leads to different physical and psychological advantages. How media respond to these processes, is also investigated.