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2011): “Using Incentives to Encourage Healthy Eating in Children,” Mimeo

By David Just and Joseph Price


There is a growing interest in the situations in which incentives can have a significant effect of positive behaviors, particularly in children and adolescents. Using a randomized field experiment, we find that providing a small monetary or prize incentive increases the fraction of children eating a serving of fruit or vegetables as part of their school-provided lunch by 80 % and reduces the amount of waste of these items by 43%. These effects are even larger at schools with a larger fraction of low-income children indicating that incentives successfully target the children who are likely to benefit the most from the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. 0 Schools provide a large fraction of the meals that children eat and this fraction has increased with expansions in the school breakfast program, summer meal programs, and dinner programs in some districts. These programs provide a unique opportunity to encourage fruit and vegetable consumption in children particularly among children from low income families who consume fewer fruits and vegetables at home (Krebs-Smith et al. 1996; Muñoz et al. 1997). One common explanation for income gap in fruit and vegetable consumption is the perceived hig

Year: 2014
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