Healthy Snacks from Mom? An Agent-Based Model of Snackification in Three Countries

Gert Jan Hofstede*, Eduardo Franco, Femke Damen, Vincenzo Fogliano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review


An agent-based model SNACKMOMS was created to understand the implications and consequences of interventions that may change the dietary habits of children. It targets the giving of snacks to children aged 2–7 by their mother and how the snacking pattern is modified by the examples set at children parties. The model acknowledges individual-level, group-level and cultural-level variables. Dynamics of conformity at parties depending on social status are taken into account in Dutch, Indonesian and Italian culture, backed up by survey and interview data. The main model output is healthy versus unhealthy snacking, and it shows how this might change as a function of the mothers’ characteristics and of external intervention. Results suggest differences in the effectiveness of the intervention across countries whether interventions target children’s preferences versus mothers’ health orientation. This indicates that the same approach might not be equally effective across societies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Social Simulation - Proceedings of the 15th Social Simulation Conference, 2019
EditorsPetra Ahrweiler, Martin Neumann
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783030615024
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2021
Event15th Social Simulation Conference, SSC 2019 - Mainz, Germany
Duration: 23 Sept 201927 Sept 2019

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Complexity
ISSN (Print)2213-8684
ISSN (Electronic)2213-8692


Conference15th Social Simulation Conference, SSC 2019


  • Agent-based model
  • Healthy food
  • Intervention
  • Marketing
  • Mothers
  • National culture
  • Pre-school children
  • Snackification


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