Bringing down barriers to children´s Healthy eating, from sensory perception to social interactions: Edulia MSCA project

by Paula Varela, Professor, NMBU – Norwegian University of Life Sciences / Senior Researcher, Nofima

Edulia MSCA network responds to the urgent need of the EU society to find new ways to tackle the escalating issue of obesity, through promoting healthier eating from childhood, within the context of choice.

Edulia goes further than the classical approach of “teaching children what is healthy”, by exploring social marketing and nudging strategies, study peer and family social interactions and social media marketing, identify sensory and non-sensory parameters that influence what is eaten (food choice) and how much is eaten (intake), and develop products which can drive healthy eating through sensory pleasure.

The overall aim of the research program is to better understand how multiple factors act as barriers for children’s healthy eating and how to tackle them, bringing together leading scientists in the Food Choice arena and training 11 PhD candidates throughout Europe and beyond.

In my presentation I will present the project and highlight some of the interesting results we have gotten so far.


Paula Varela is Food Engineer from Universidad de la República (Uruguay) and PhD from Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain). She is Senior Researcher in Sensory and Consumer Sciences at Nofima and Professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She has wide experience in academic and industrial research and has authored more than 120 scientific articles, various book chapters and conference presentations and co-authored four books on methodological aspects of consumer research. Paula is currently interested in research with special populations (children, elderly, food sub-cultures) at the light of societal issues related to food behaviour, and consumer involvement in the green shift.

Nofima is one of Europe’s largest institutes for applied research. The Sensory & Consumer group has strong competences in the area of perception and food choice. Nofima is a pioneer in sensory studies, nationally and internationally and has also been building up solid competence in consumer studies over many years. To understand the consumer, we adopt an inter-disciplinary approach. Research and knowledge from several different scientific areas, such as food technology, statistics, nutrition, sensory perception and consumer and market analysis, are brought together. We have competence in developing and tailor-making suitable measuring methods and statistical techniques and models for consumer tests.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.