Between 2007-2012, a team of researchers at the Healthy Populations Institute at Dalhousie University were funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada and Canadian Institutes for Health Research for a research project called: Optimizing investments in the built environment to reduce youth obesity: The ENACT Study.
ENACT aimed to understand the role of the built environment (e.g., land mix, walk-ability, recreation facilities), and the policies that affect its use, in contribution to youth obesity in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
In 2012, further studies expanded on the ENACT project to explore both physical activity and dietary intake, which is important in building a greater understanding of the role of the built environment.
Froogie is the result of multiple research projects exploring youth health. Learn more about how Froogie was developed.
The History of this Research
Building the Foundation
A 2013 study Privileging physical activity over healthy eating: 'Time' to Choose? found that:
Parents and youth report that they are over-scheduled in ways that limit options for healthy meal preparation
Healthy eating is often sacrificed due to the scheduling of leisure-time physical activities
Families are found to be the target audience to encourage healthy eating strategies
Role of TIME & the current need
Mobile App Version #1
TIME Crunch for Health
In 2015, the first version of this App was designed based on research results to encourage parents and children in healthy eating.
Based on user testing, we learned the need to simplify the App for user benefit and functionality.
The Froogie (pronunciation: froo-jee) App has been informed by all of this previous research to provide families a fun and interactive way to track their daily fruit and vegetable intake.
Highlights of the Froogie App:
History of the name: Blending of the words "fruits" and "veggies"
Selection of Characters: Efforts were made to ensure gender neutrality and cultural inclusion for Froogie characters to be broadly appealing and inclusive
Learning Opportunities: Notifications appear to encourage users to eat and track vegetables and fruits, such as fun facts and tips to incorporate vegetables and fruits into daily routines
Motivation to Track: As users track their daily intake, new Froogie characters are available
Embedded health goals: the App is designed to create a 60% vegetable to 40% fruit ratio of daily servings to ensure a healthy balance of both