Welcome to the Optimise Study

The Optimise Programme

Welcome to Optimise! We have created this programme to help you reduce the amount of meat you eat. It was developed by the LEAP team (Livestock, Environment and People) at the University of Oxford. All you have to do is sign up with your email address – you can get started today.

What is the Optimise programme?

A lot of people find it hard to reduce their meat consumption because they are not sure where to start. What we eat is mostly a result of our habits, and it can be difficult to make changes. This programme aims to help you try different ways to reduce your meat intake – and hopefully, find some easy and sustainable changes that work for you.

The whole programme lasts nine weeks in total, but you can do as much or as little as you like. During the first week we would like you to continue eating as usual so we can measure your usual meat intake. We will send you an email every morning, inviting you to log in to this website to fill out a questionnaire asking about your meat and fish consumption on the previous day. This will help you to see where you can make changes to your meat intake. At the end of this first week, we will give you some feedback on the environmental and health impacts of your usual meat consumption. We will also ask you to reflect on how much meat you eat and set yourself a goal to reduce your meat intake.

After the first week, we will guide you through the Optimise programme for four weeks (weeks 2-5) and invite you to complete different daily and weekly tasks:

1. Log your meat intake daily to get an overview of your meat consumption and notice changes over time.

2. Plan a daily action to reduce your meat intake. We have created a list of actions that you can choose from to make life easier.

3. Take note of your achievements each week. We will give you some feedback on the changes in your meat consumption, including information on how this may impact your health and the environment.

4. Evaluate your actions weekly. We will ask you to reflect on the actions you have tried out that week, and think about whether you found them helpful/whether you would like to continue doing them.

The combination of these different tasks creates what psychologists call a self-regulation process. The idea is that you use information about your current meat-eating habits to help you make changes in the future.

We hope that throughout these four weeks you will identify a couple of actions that you find helpful and easy to do. We would then like you to continue with these actions for another 4 weeks (weeks 6-9). You will not have to log in to the website again until the last week. In week 9, we will invite you to log back into the website daily to complete the meat intake questionnaire, so you can see how much you have achieved through the programme.

Here is an overview of the programme:

Sounds complicated? We know this is a lot of information at once, but please don’t worry. We will send reminders to your email account on the days we would like you to log on to the website. Everything will be explained in detail on the website, so you don’t have to remember all the details. This is just to give you an overview of what you can expect from the programme.

Would you like to try out our Optimise programme?

Let’s get started.

User registration

Would you like to help us with our research whilst using the Optimise programme?

We would like to invite you to take part in our cohort study. If you agree to take part, we would collect the data you submit through the website and analyse it for academic research purposes. You would follow the same programme as everyone else to help you reduce your meat consumption. Participants of the cohort study who complete the main sessions of the programme will be entered into a raffle with a chance to win one of several £100 One4All digital gift cards.

Does this sound like something you would be interested in? If so, we would like to ask you to complete a brief screening questionnaire with 3 questions, to find whether you are eligible to take part in the study.

Screening Questionnaire

Please let us know how old you are. *
Do you eat meat? *
Are you interested in reducing your meat consumption? *

Thank you for completing these questions. You are eligible to take part in the Optimise cohort study.

Welcome to the Optimise Cohort Study

Our research team at the University of Oxford is interested in finding out how we can help people to reduce the amount of meat they eat. The results from this study will help us to provide support to other people across the UK who are looking to reduce their meat intake.

Why have I been invited?

You have been invited to participate because you are an adult (aged 18 years+) living in the UK and are interested in reducing the amount of meat you eat.

Do I have to take part?

Taking part is entirely up to you. You may withdraw at any point during the online study for any reason.

What is involved?

You will be asked a few questions about yourself and your dietary habits (~ 5 minutes). You will be asked to log into the website daily for the first five weeks of the study and again daily during the ninth week of the study to monitor your meat consumption. At the start of the second week, you’ll be prompted to think about how you can reduce your meat consumption, set yourself a meat reduction goal and to select from a list of meat consumption reduction actions. Each day for the next four weeks, you’ll be asked to check into the website to record your progress and plan your next actions. We estimate that answering these questions might take up to 5 minutes of your time each day. Each week we will provide you with feedback on the health and environmental impact of your meat consumption. At the end we will then ask for your thoughts on the Optimise programme and ask you to repeat the questions about your dietary habits. Finally, you will be asked whether you would be willing to be contacted to complete a follow-up questionnaire in the future to see if the study has any lasting effect on what you eat.

What do I gain from taking part?

By taking part in the study, you will contribute to our research efforts and support us in helping other people reduce their meat intake. All participants who complete the main sessions of the study (i.e. at least complete Day 1 and Day 7 of the first week, and Day 7 of the fifth and ninth week of the study) will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win one of several £100 One4All digital gift cards.

What will happen to the data I provide?

All data for the study will be collected through the Optimise website, which was developed by us and a team of website developers from a company called One Ltd. One Ltd have been checked thoroughly by the University of Oxford to make sure they follow all relevant data protection guidelines. Our website is hosted on 123.reg.uk secure servers and all study data will be stored securely here as well. Once all follow-up sessions are completed, we will destroy any information that could identify you. All data will be kept entirely confidential to the research team. The de-identified research data and records will be stored securely for up to 10 years and then deleted. Responsible members of the University of Oxford may be given access to data for monitoring and/or audit of the study to ensure that the research is complying with applicable regulations. Throughout this whole process, personal data collected from you will be held in compliance with the requirements of the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.
This project was reviewed by, and received ethics clearance through, the University of Oxford Central University Research Ethics Committee (R74130/RE002 reference number).

What happens to the results/findings?

The results may be published in scientific journals or presented at research meetings. Your individual data will never be made publicly available. However, anonymised data may be shared through secure, private channels with other researchers in the interest of open and transparent science.

Who is organising and funding the research?

This research was funded by the Wellcome Trust, Our Planet Our Health (Livestock, Environment and People –LEAP) award number 205212/Z/16/Z.

Who do I contact if I have a concern about the study or I wish to complain?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this project, please contact the research team. You can message them through this website at any point throughout the study, by clicking the ‘Contact the trial team’ button on the top right or bottom of the website. They will do their best to answer your query through the website’s messaging function. The research team should acknowledge your concern within 10 working days and give you an indication of how they intend to deal with it. If you remain unhappy or wish to make a formal complaint, please contact the Chair of the Medical Sciences Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee at the University of Oxford: Email: ethics@medsci.ox.ac.uk; Address: Research Services, University of Oxford, Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JD.

 

If you wish to proceed and follow the Optimise programme for your own use, please tick the box below.

If you would like to have a copy of the above information, you can download it here.

Thank you for completing these questions. Unfortunately, you are not eligible to take part in the Optimise cohort study. However, you are very welcome to use our Optimise programme by yourself. Please continue below to start with the programme. Any data you enter whilst using this website will not be analysed by the research team.

Thank you for your interest in using the Optimise programme!

While you have opted to not take part in the formal study (or were not eligible to take part) you’re free to use the website and programme independently on your own.
You will be able to use the website the same as study participants and, just like them, it will take you through a nine-week programme. The site will collect and store the data you provide during the programme but when you finish the programme your data will be deleted. It will not be analysed as part of this, or any, study.
Please see our privacy notice for more information regarding how we will use, store and process personal data in connection with your use of the Optimise website.

 

If you wish to proceed and follow the Optimise programme for your own use, please tick the box below.

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They will not be offered to you in the daily action planning task