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.
Analyzing picture books for nutrition education
Feeding children can be a challenging process for many parents.
Researchers develop new framework for human nutrition
Existing models for measuring health impacts of the human diet are limiting our capacity to solve obesity and its related health problems, claim two of the world's leading nutritional scientists in their newest research.
Nutrition labels on dining hall food: Are they being used? By who?
University of Illinois dining halls voluntarily label foods with nutrition information.
Children's nutrition influenced by local neighborhoods
In an innovative study, Dr. Gilliland and his team used GPS technology to provide evidence that adolescents' exposure to junk food outlets during trips to and from school affects their likelihood of making a junk food purchase.
Leading nutrition experts speak up about malnutrition
Malnutrition is a critical public health problem, affecting many people across the United States and around the world.

Related Nutrition Reading:

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

Climate Crisis
There's no greater threat to humanity than climate change. What can we do to stop the worst consequences? This hour, TED speakers explore how we can save our planet and whether we can do it in time. Guests include climate activist Greta Thunberg, chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox, research scientist Sean Davis, food innovator Bruce Friedrich, and psychologist Per Espen Stoknes.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#527 Honey I CRISPR'd the Kids
This week we're coming to you from Awesome Con in Washington, D.C. There, host Bethany Brookshire led a panel of three amazing guests to talk about the promise and perils of CRISPR, and what happens now that CRISPR babies have (maybe?) been born. Featuring science writer Tina Saey, molecular biologist Anne Simon, and bioethicist Alan Regenberg. A Nobel Prize winner argues banning CRISPR babies won’t work Geneticists push for a 5-year global ban on gene-edited babies A CRISPR spin-off causes unintended typos in DNA News of the first gene-edited babies ignited a firestorm The researcher who created CRISPR twins defends...