Making healthy eating easier for military personnel

Healthy eating is part of performance. Military personnel need to remain healthy, but importantly, they need to be able to perform at their best. A nutritious diet helps them to think clearly and to remain alert and it makes sure they have strength and endurance right when they need it.

A day in the life of a military member can be busy. Go Food aimed to motivate healthier choices, and to ensure that healthy choices were an easy choice. Go Food built messages that were tailored for military personnel, and oversaw layout and design changes to make healthy choices easy. This combined approach nudged personnel who were busy or did not consciously think in a healthy direction.

Go Food was created through our 3-step process – co-create, build and engage (CBE).

Read on to learn how the CBE process was applied for Go Food.

Figure 1 - The CBE process

1. Co-create

Go Food applied a range of research methods to understand how military diners make food choices, and how nearby food outlets enabled or prevented healthy choices from occurring.

We undertook a systematic literature review, interviews with personnel, an observational study, and retail food audits examining the types of foods available.

Important insights gained from this step was that the strongest motivation for eating was performance, and more support was needed in food retail outlets.

Full study details are here

2. Build

The marketing mix underpinned the build of Go Food, featuring more convenient options (product) offered at a cost to diners (price). The program was offered in military dining rooms (place) which were modified to prominently position healthy choices (place) and communications linked to performance motivations were used within the dining room (promotion).

Figure 2. Elements of Go Food

Food environment after change


the layout change

Food environment before change


the layout change

This combined approach aimed to nudge those who were busy or not thinking about their choices, in a healthy direction – rather than telling people what to do.

3. Engage

Go Food reached over 6,000 personnel in miltary dining rooms.

Changes in knowledge and attitude chart

Figure 3 - Increasing healthy choices for the better

Diners who consumed meals in the Go Food dining rooms made more choices from the most healthful food category when the program was implemented (see Figure 3).

Full study details are here

Want to learn more about Go Food?

If you are interested to learn more about Go Food, please get in touch with us.