Project: inFlOOD - The influence of food media on food consumption patterns in Flanders (also see the project website)


Period: 2019-2022 (PhD project; VLAIO/IWT)

Short description

The scientific goal of InFlOOD is to understand how food media (i.e. all mass communication about food with the exception of traditional advertising campaigns and information/ health campaigns) influence food consumption in Flanders. The abundance of often contradictory and non-evidence-based media reports about nutrition are causing confusion. In this context, it is quite a challenge for the food industry and health organizations to communicate effectively about nutrition guidelines. Our goal is to learn from the growing group of highly successful food influencers how we can better communicate about food and nutrition. As a group of academics, health organizations, food producers and media, we want to produce positive, powerful evidence-based messages about nutrition.

The concrete goals of InFlOOD are:

  • Starting from an in-depth historical analysis to study the content of popular food media in relation to the Flemish food consumption figures
  • Zoom in on the role of celebrity status of popular food influencers
  • Developing communication strategies that use the discourse of the most influential food gurus (how to communicate) applied to evidence-based information (which message) about nutrition (guidelines)
  • Setting up an independent communication platform on food and nutrition that refers to the various expert bodies.

The valorization of the project will be achieved via three routes:

  • Route 1: Produce evidence-based output on the influence of food media on Flemish food consumption
  • Route 2: Setting up a platform that forms the bridge between the food and media industry
  • Route 3: Setting up an independent communication platform on food and nutrition that brings the consumer to the competent experts.


Key publications