Review of 96 healthy eating studies finds 'nudges' yield best changes in eating habits

October 09, 2019

INFORMS Journal Marketing Science New Study Key Takeaways:CATONSVILLE, MD, October 9, 2019 - A gentle nudge in the right direction is sometimes all people need. In this case, new research in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science finds it works when it comes to promoting healthy eating.

The study, "Which Healthy Eating Nudges Work Best? A Meta-Analysis of Field Experiments," conducted by Romain Cadario of the IÉSEG School of Management in Paris, France, and Pierre Chandon of INSEAD, have found the most effective "nudge" that bolsters healthy eating focuses on changing peoples' behavior.

The researchers looked at 96 studies that tested various methods focusing on improving food choices and eating habits.

They lumped the different methods into seven categories: 1) descriptive nutritional labeling provides calorie counts and other nutritional information on food packages or menus; 2) evaluative nutritional labeling uses pictures or graphics to help people see which choices are best; 3) visibility enhancements change the placements of healthy foods so people notice them; 4) hedonic enhancements make healthy selections more appealing in product descriptions; 5) healthy eating calls encourage people to make better choices using signage or stickers; 6) convenience enhancements make it easier to make good choices by having vegetables pre-cut or easy to grab and go; and 7) size enhancements change the portions of meals so there are more healthy foods and less unhealthy foods.

Researchers say behavioral-oriented nudges are most successful, more specifically, size enhancements appear to be the best way to improve eating habits.

"These different categories appeal to people in different ways. Some appeal to people's voice of reason or judgment, others play on their emotions and some focus directly on changing behavior," said Cadario. "By choosing the best strategy you can see results that are six-times more effective."
-end-
About INFORMS and Marketing Science

Marketing Science is a premier peer-reviewed scholarly journal focused on research using quantitative approaches to study all aspects of the interface between consumers and firms. It is published by INFORMS, the leading international association for operations research and analytics professionals. More information is available at http://www.informs.org or @informs.

Contact:

Ashley Smith
443-757-3578
asmith@informs.org

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

Related Eating Habits Articles from Brightsurf:

Shifts in water temperatures affect eating habits of larval tuna at critical life stage
Small shifts in ocean temperature can have significant effects on the eating habits of blackfin tuna during the larval stage of development, when finding food and growing quickly are critical to long-term survival.

DNA in fringe-lipped bat poop reveals unexpected eating habits
By examining the poop of the fringe-lipped bat (Trachops cirrhosus), a team at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) encountered surprising results about its eating habits and foraging abilities.

Norman Conquest of 1066 did little to change people's eating habits
Archaeologists from Cardiff University and the University of Sheffield have combined the latest scientific methods to offer new insights into life during the Norman Conquest of England.

Gut bacteria may modify behavior in worms, influencing eating habits
Gut bacteria are tiny but may play an outsized role not only in the host animal's digestive health, but in their overall well-being.

Temperament affects children's eating habits
Temperamental children are at greater risk for developing unhealthy eating habits.

Pre-COVID-19 poll of older adults hints at potential impact of pandemic on eating habits
Most people in their 50s and older were capable home cooks just before COVID-19 struck America, but only 5% had ordered groceries online, according to a new national poll.

Revving habits up and down, new insight into how the brain forms habits
Each day, humans and animals rely on habits to complete routine tasks such as eating.

More stroke awareness, better eating habits may help reduce stroke risk for young adult African-Americans
Young African-Americans are experiencing higher rates of stroke because of health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, yet their perception of their stroke risk is low.

Social media users 'copy' friends' eating habits
Social media users are more likely to eat fruit and veg -- or snack on junk food -- if they think their friends do the same, a new study has found.

Interest in presidential eating habits may affect the public's food choices
A recent study by a Penn State researcher examined how President Donald Trump's reported fondness for fast food may affect the public's perception of fast food and the likelihood, based on their media habits, one might purchase some.

Read More: Eating Habits News and Eating Habits Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.