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“There is an urgent need to take action with the younger generation”

New European Good Move program

The new 3-year Good Move program co-financed by the European Union aims to get young people aged 18 to 34 in Europe moving: "on their plates, by encouraging them to eat more fruit and vegetables, or in their lifestyles, by motivating them to be more active and less sedentary every day." Today, young adults do not eat enough fruit and vegetables "due to a lack of time, desire or ideas, and they are increasingly sedentary."

This campaign is supported by France with Aprifel (Agency for Research and Information in Fruit and Vegetables), Poland with Fruit Union (Association of Fruit and Vegetables Distributors' Union) and Spain with Ailimpo (Interprofessional Association of Lemons and Pomelos).

The new campaign to promote fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity among 18-34 year-olds was unveiled at a round table in Paris, attended by several health and sports professionals: Mathieu Jouys (dietician nutritionist at French Athletics Federation), Sandrine Monnery-Patris (researcher at Center for Taste and Feeding Behavior - INRAE) and David Thivel (professor at the University of Clermont-Auvergne).

Why target young people?
"Fruit and vegetable consumption has been declining among the younger generation," explains Christel Teyssèdre, president of Aprifel. Today, 25-35 year-olds consume 3x less vegetables and half as much fruit as the previous generation. This trend is set to increase over the coming years, so there is an urgent need to act quickly" (34.4% of the European population does not eat fruit and vegetables on a daily basis, and 4 out of 5 young people say they are motivated to do sport, but find it difficult to take action). This declining consumption is a problem that also concerns Spain and Poland, according to Paulina Kopeć, general secretary of Fruit Union (Poland).

"Combining pleasure, leisure and well-being"
According to Christel Teyssèdre, the "best way to get young people to want to eat fruit and vegetables and take part in physical activity is to combine pleasure, leisure and well-being."

For Mathieu Jouys, dietician and nutritionist with the French Athletics Federation, "you have to optimize the right way of moving through the right way of eating, because you cannot have one without the other." He suggests using the codes of this generation and adapting to their current lifestyles." The Good Move program is based on the "motivational axis" and is "anchored in the theory of small steps: each step is important and should not be difficult to take." This is Prochaska and Di Clemente's (1982) transtheoretical model of change, designed to support behavior change at different stages. According to Sandrine Monnery-Patris, researcher at INRAE's Center for Taste and Feeding Behavior, "what we eat is based on a learning mechanism: reiteration. It takes between 8 and 10 exposures during diversification for a rejected food to be appreciated by the child: what becomes familiar becomes appreciated."

Good Move's missions: research and pedagogy through e-learning and webinars, meeting young adults in real life at sporting events, and implementing digital and social activations to reach and engage 18-34 year-olds.

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