Nav: Home

Accentuate the positive when it comes to nutrition education

June 08, 2015

ITHACA, N.Y. - If you want people to choose healthier foods, emphasize the positive, says a new Cornell University study.

Published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, the Cornell Food and Brand Lab study showed that when it comes to nutrition education, dos work a lot better than don'ts. This is especially important when determining policies that encourage healthy eating.

Media note: A short video explaining the research, as well as an informational graphic and additional details about this research can be found at, http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/OP/Hidden_Costs

The researchers - David Just, behavioral economists in the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, and Andrew Hanks, Ohio State University - reviewed existing literature on the consequences of past public policies on nutrition to form suggestions to improve future regulations and found the most successful public policies are those that are framed positively and support choice.

"It's clear that people value freedom of choice," said Just. "When policies seem to encourage good choices, rather than limit bad ones, we see a much more positive response."

In one study, 173 adults who were told to select various meals for lunch reacted differently depending on how the price of each item was proposed. When changes in the price were framed as a tax on unhealthy items, more people chose the unhealthy foods. However, when the change was framed as a price discount for healthy foods, demand for healthy items went up. This shows that rebelling against noxious policies is an important driver of consumer demand and cannot be ignored in policy recommendations.

"Many decisions that we make are not totally rational," said Just. "When trying to impose any sort of change, it is important to try and empathize with our audience and to work with, rather than against, the targets of that policy."
-end-


Cornell University

Related Nutrition Articles:

Learning about nutrition from 'food porn' and online quizzes
Harvard and Columbia researchers designed an online experiment to test how people learn about nutrition in the context of a social, online quiz.
4 exciting advances in food and nutrition research
New discoveries tied to how food affects our body and why we make certain food choices could help inform nutrition plans and policies that encourage healthy food choices.
Cutting-edge analytics allows health to be improved through nutrition
The company Lipigenia, which specializes in setting out guidelines on appropriate nutrition to achieve people's well-being on the basis of state-of-the-art blood analytics, has embarked on its activity following the partnership reached between AZTI, the Italian enterprise CNR-ISOF and Intermedical Solutions Worldwide.
Nothing fishy about better nutrition for mums and babies
Researchers from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and the University of Adelaide have found a way to provide mothers and young children in Cambodia with better nutrition through an unlikely source -- fish sauce.
Nutrition information... for cows?
Cattle need a mixture is legume and grass for a healthy, balanced diet.
More Nutrition News and Nutrition Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans
More than test scores or good grades — what do kids need to prepare them for the future? This hour, guest host Manoush Zomorodi and TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, in and out of the classroom. Guests include educators Olympia Della Flora and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#535 Superior
Apologies for the delay getting this week's episode out! A technical glitch slowed us down, but all is once again well. This week, we look at the often troubling intertwining of science and race: its long history, its ability to persist even during periods of disrepute, and the current forms it takes as it resurfaces, leveraging the internet and nationalism to buoy itself. We speak with Angela Saini, independent journalist and author of the new book "Superior: The Return of Race Science", about where race science went and how it's coming back.