Nudge to nobesity I: Minor changes in accessibility decrease food intake
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.
Volume (Year): 6 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (June)
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- 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.
- 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.
- Eran Dayan & Maya Bar-Hillel, 2011. "Nudge to nobesity II: Menu positions influence food orders," Discussion Paper Series dp581, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
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