About

The title of this project is – of course – derived from the famous Jane Austen novel. We think this name is appropriate for our project that aims to improve people’s lifestyles, because the two main words in the title refer to important and often experienced emotions in relation to changing a sub-optimal nutrition and/or physical activity pattern into a healthy lifestyle.

Prejudice in the first instance refers to the prejudices that many people face who struggle in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and who may suffer from welfare diseases, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and obesity. Often people who are overweight are stigmatized as lazy or unable to control themselves. They may suffer from the preconceptions from many people they encounter: people on the street, in stores, and perhaps also the people who should support them like their family and friends, doctors and nurses, and even the researchers who try to understand them.

In addition, prejudice may refer to the predispositions that people will have to overcome if they want to make changes. Fixed ideas about which foods are and are not appropriate to consume (e.g., “I do not eat salads, I am not a rabbit”, “water is for dogs” and “milk is for children, not for adults”, or “a real man eats meat”) and which roles people are supposed to fulfill (e.g., “as a homemaker I need to make sure that everyone has enough to eat” or “the doctor is the boss”) can obstruct the adoption of new behaviors and routines.

Pride refers to the emotions that people experience when they decide to make the changes necessary to lead a healthy life. By providing people the tools to improve their lifestyle, they will feel empowered and more vigorous, which can enhance their feelings of self-worth. They feel proud to take the first step to make changes and they may feel delighted when they achieve one of their goals, showing how strong, motivated and accomplished they are.

They can be proud to show their progress to their family and friends. Receiving support from these significant others can increase their motivation to change and may also motivate others to join and can, thereby, act as a catalyst.

In addition, we hope that the new tools the researchers will develop during this project can make the participants feel proud of the devices that can support them in making necessary and welcome changes in their lifestyle. Furthermore, participants may feel proud to contribute to important research for the benefit of society.