alexa The behavioralist as nutritionist: leveraging behavioral economics to improve child food choice and consumption.
Healthcare

Healthcare

Journal of Health Education Research & Development

Author(s): List JA, Samek AS

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Abstract We leverage behavioral economics to explore new approaches to tackling child food choice and consumption. Using a field experiment with >1500 children, we report several key insights. We find that incentives have large influences: in the control, 17\% of children prefer the healthy snack, whereas introduction of small incentives increases take-up of the healthy snack to ∼75\%. There is some evidence that the effects continue post-treatment, consistent with a model of habit formation. We find little evidence that the framing of incentives (loss vs. gain) matters. Educational messaging alone has little effect, but we observe a combined effect of messaging and incentives: together they provide an important influence on food choice. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. This article was published in J Health Econ and referenced in Journal of Health Education Research & Development

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