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Nudge to nobesity I: Minor changes in accessibility decrease food intake

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Author Info

  • Paul Rozin
  • Sydney Scott
  • Megan Dingley
  • Joanna K. Urbanek
  • Hong Jiang
  • Mark Kaltenbach
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    Abstract

    Very small but cumulated decreases in food intake may be sufficient to erase obesity over a period of years. We examine the effect of slight changes in the accessibility of different foods in a pay-by-weight-of-food salad bar in a cafeteria serving adults for the lunch period. Making a food slightly more difficult to reach (by varying its proximity by about 10 inches) or changing the serving utensil (spoon or tongs) modestly but reliably reduces intake, in the range of 8-16%. Given this effect, it is possible that making calorie-dense foods less accessible and low-calorie foods more accessible over an extended period of time would result in significant weight loss.

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    File URL: http://journal.sjdm.org/11/11213/jdm11213.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Society for Judgment and Decision Making in its journal Judgment and Decision Making.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (June)
    Pages: 323-332

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    Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:6:y:2011:i:4:p:323-332

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    Related research

    Keywords: obesity; environment; behavior; choice architecture; nudge.;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Thomas Leonard, 2008. "Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein, Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 356-360, December.
    2. Eran Dayan & Maya Bar-Hillel, 2011. "Nudge to nobesity II: Menu positions influence food orders," Discussion Paper Series dp581, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    3. Eran Dayan & Maya Bar-Hillel, 2011. "Nudge to nobesity II: Menu positions influence food orders," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(4), pages 333-342, June.
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Nudge Database IV
      by Mark Egan in Economics, Psychology and Policy on 2013-04-14 16:17:00
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    Cited by:
    1. Eran Dayan & Maya Bar-Hillel, 2011. "Nudge to nobesity II: Menu positions influence food orders," Discussion Paper Series dp581, The Center for the Study of Rationality, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
    2. Menzel, Susanne, 2013. "Are emotions to blame? — The impact of non-analytical information processing on decision-making and implications for fostering sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 71-78.
    3. Mira Fischer & Sebastian Lotz, 2014. "Is Soft Paternalism Ethically Legitimate? - The Relevance of Psychological Processes for the Assessment of Nudge-Based Policies," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 05-02, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
    4. Visschers, Vivianne H.M. & Hartmann, Christina & Leins-Hess, Rebecca & Dohle, Simone & Siegrist, Michael, 2013. "A consumer segmentation of nutrition information use and its relation to food consumption behaviour," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 71-80.

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