ERIC Number: EJ1178068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
Nudges to Increase Fruits and Vegetables Consumption: Results from a Field Experiment
Thapa, Janani R.; Lyford, Conrad P.
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v42 n1 Spr 2018
Purpose/Objectives: Research on incentivizing consumption of fruits and vegetables (F/V) has been and continues to be conducted in school lunchrooms. This study examined the use of stickers and toys to nudge F/V selection and consumption among students in grades 1 through 5. The study was conducted in two low-income elementary schools in West Texas. Methods: Kid friendly stickers were applied to the schools' lunchroom F/V serving containers in a food safe manner. Students who selected and consumed their F/V portion were given an inexpensive toy at the end of the lunch period. Consumption and selection of F/V was measured over three periods starting with the observation at baseline period (13 days) followed by the intervention period (15 days) and the post-intervention period (14 days). Results: Results suggest that displaying stickers to change the choice architecture while using incentive to promote consumption in school lunchrooms, sustainably and inexpensively increased the selection and consumption of F/V in these settings at one cent per serving. The number of servings of F/V consumed increased from 1.77 during baseline to 6.08 during intervention (p value <0.0001, 242% higher than at baseline). A smaller but significant improvement was sustained post intervention where servings of F/V consumed was 2.51 (p value <0.0001, 42% higher than at baseline). Conclusions and Application: The findings of this study support a low-cost method to improve F/V consumption that can easily be replicated across the country. Similar low-cost interventions can support current policy emphasis in improving F/V consumption and combating childhood obesity.
Descriptors: Incentives, Elementary School Students, Low Income Students, Food, Lunch Programs, Dining Facilities, Intervention, Eating Habits, Health Promotion, Field Studies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas