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Total Lunchroom Makeovers: Using the Principle of Asymmetric Paternalism to Address New School Lunchroom Guidelines

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Author Info

  • Hanks, Andrew S.
  • Just, David R.
  • Wansink, Brian

Abstract

A key goal of the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010 is to ensure that children have access to healthy foods in schools. While the new policy mandates that healthy items must be included on the lunch line—and even that children must take certain foods—there is concern both over whether children will choose to eat the healthier fare, and what the ultimate cost may be to schools that comply. We propose a series of behavioral nudges–the total lunchroom makeover–that may help lead children to make healthier choices at little cost the schools in accordance with the goals of the new legislation.. We report the results from a field experiment in which a series of nudges lead to significant increases in the consumption of fruits and vegetables—a substantive step in the right direction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2012 AAEA/EAAE Food Environment Symposium, May 30-31, Boston, MA with number 123388.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaeafe:123388

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Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

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  1. Steven Levitt & John List, 2009. "Field experiments in economics: The past, the present, and the future," Artefactual Field Experiments 00079, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. repec:feb:artefa:0089 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Joshua P. Berning & Hayley H. Chouinard & Jill J. McCluskey, 2010. "Do Positive Nutrition Shelf Labels Affect Consumer Behavior? Findings from a Field Experiment with Scanner Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 364-369.
  4. Brian E. Roe & David R. Just, 2009. "Internal and External Validity in Economics Research: Tradeoffs between Experiments, Field Experiments, Natural Experiments, and Field Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1266-1271.
  5. repec:feb:artefa:0090 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. John A. List & Imran Rasul, 2010. "Field Experiments in Labor Economics," NBER Working Papers 16062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John A. List, 2011. "Why Economists Should Conduct Field Experiments and 14 Tips for Pulling One Off," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(3), pages 3-16, Summer.
  8. John List & David Reiley, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
  9. Cairns, John & van der Pol, Marjon, 2000. "Valuing future private and social benefits: The discounted utility model versus hyperbolic discounting models," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 191-205, April.
  10. List, John A., 2009. "An introduction to field experiments in economics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 439-442, June.
  11. repec:feb:artefa:0110 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. John List, 2009. "Introduction to field experiments in economics," Artefactual Field Experiments 00087, The Field Experiments Website.
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