© BEN Center 2011<br />Smarter Lunchrooms Initiative<br />Introduction to Behavioral Economics in Food Choices<br />
References<br />Just, David R. and Brian Wansink (2009), “Better School Meals on a Budget: Using Behavioral Economics <br ...
Choices…are they really ours?<br />Behavioral Economics<br />What factors affect our choices?<br />Is it just price and pr...
Choice Architecture<br />Choice architecture<br />Designing the choice to lead an individual to a particular outcome witho...
What issues impact changes in School Lunch?<br />Rising obesity rates <br />Many blame school lunches<br />Local school lu...
School Lunch Trilemma<br />Pressure to improve the nutrition of meals<br />Pressure to keep participation up<br />Pressure...
School Lunch Trilemma<br />Pressure to improve the nutrition of meals<br />Pressure to keep participation up<br />Pressure...
School Lunch Trilemma<br />Pressure to improve the nutrition of meals<br />Pressure to keep participation up<br />Pressure...
School Lunch Trilemma<br />Pressure to improve the nutrition of meals<br />Pressure to keep participation up<br />Pressure...
The School Lunch Challenge<br />The Challenge:<br />Improve nutritional content of meals<br />Maintain low cost<br />Maint...
Why?:Economics and Psychology<br />Reactance<br />Rebelling against a threat to freedom<br />Fat tax versus a thin subsidy...
What We KnowAbout FoodDecisions<br />We have two decision-making mechanisms<br />Deliberative – Rational <br />Emotional –...
Hot vs. Cold Decisions<br />Hot State<br />We eat for<br />Taste<br />Convenience<br />Size<br />Visual effect<br />“This ...
Sin and Virtue<br />The food environment responds to us<br />Marketers have learned to sell sinful foods to those in a hot...
What Does This Mean for Kids?<br />Ever wonder why kids food is generally less healthy?<br />Kids have not fully developed...
Smarter Lunchrooms<br />What if we design the lunch room to gently encourage the decisions we want?<br />Use behavioral th...
The BEN Center Mission<br />Explore how the tools of behavioral economics can be used to encourage better school lunch cho...
Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics and Child Nutrition Research<br />
What is the Smarter Lunchrooms Initiative?<br />The Smarter Lunchrooms Initiative seeks to… <br /><ul><li>Nudge choices: U...
Increase sales: Finding innovative ways to increase cafeteria sales and participation by encouraging greater consumption o...
Implement low-cost/no-cost changes: Since many cafeterias receive a limited budget, suggestions are focused on changing th...
Keep a variety of food choices: Nudging students without completely eliminating unhealthy choices from the menu or only ra...
A side note: The impact of social influence on food choices<br /><ul><li>When eating in groups or social situations, indiv...
Students can influence one another’s food choices based on what the ‘leader’ of the group chooses
Influencing this ‘leader’ to choose healthier items can impact what other students choose
In younger grades, teachers and monitors are highly influential—they should encourage children that it is ‘cool’ to eat ve...
Increase Student Involvement<br />Empowerment/Ownership/Self-serving Choice:<br />Make students feel good about eating hea...
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Intro to Behavioral

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Intro to Behavioral

  1. 1. © BEN Center 2011<br />Smarter Lunchrooms Initiative<br />Introduction to Behavioral Economics in Food Choices<br />
  2. 2. References<br />Just, David R. and Brian Wansink (2009), “Better School Meals on a Budget: Using Behavioral Economics <br /> and Food Psychology to Improve Meal Selection,” Choices, 24:3, 1-6.<br />Just, David R. and Brian Wansink (2011), “School Lunch Debit Cards are Associated with Lower Nutrition <br /> and Higher Calories,” under review at Journal of Adolescent Health. <br />Wansink, Brian, and David Just (2011), “Healthy Foods First: Students Take the First Lunchroom Food <br /> 11% More Often Than the Third,” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume <br /> 43:4S1, S9.<br />Wansink, Brian, David R. Just, and Joe McKendry (2010), “Lunch Line Redesign,” New York Times, <br /> October 22, p. A10.<br />Wansink, Brian, David R. Just, and Collin R. Payne (2012), “The Behavioral Economics of Healthier <br /> School Lunch Payment Systems,” under review at Journal of Marketing.<br />Wansink, Brian, David Just, and Laura Smith (2011), “Move the Fruit: Putting Fruit in New Bowls and New<br /> Places Doubles Lunchroom Sales,” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume <br /> 43:4S1, S1.<br />Wansink, Brian, Koert van Ittersum, and James E. Painter (2005), “How Descriptive Food Names Bias <br /> Sensory Perceptions in Restaurants,” Food Quality and Preference, 16:5, 393-400.<br />Wansink, Brian, David Just, and Laura Smith (2011), “What is in a Name? Giving Descriptive Names to <br /> Vegetables Increases Lunchroom Sales,” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, <br /> Volume 43:4S1, S1.<br />
  3. 3. Choices…are they really ours?<br />Behavioral Economics<br />What factors affect our choices?<br />Is it just price and preference?<br />If so, the trilemma is a dead end<br />Are there other options?<br />Lots of research in this area <br />Our research: What kinds of changes affect students’ daily choices in the lunchroom?<br />
  4. 4. Choice Architecture<br />Choice architecture<br />Designing the choice to lead an individual to a particular outcome without forcing them<br />Uses the tools of psychology to access economic decision-making<br />Generally, adjusting the choice architecture is cheap<br />Big bang for the buck<br />
  5. 5. What issues impact changes in School Lunch?<br />Rising obesity rates <br />Many blame school lunches<br />Local school lunch administrators<br /> under pressure to improve quality and nutrition<br />Cut sugared drinks, dessert items, pizza, hot dogs and burgers<br />Various proponents push for selling more “whole grain”, “vegetarian”, “organic” or “raw” <br />Often, these are not what the students want<br />Heavy-handed or short-sighted intervention can lead to worse outcomes for students and schools<br />
  6. 6. School Lunch Trilemma<br />Pressure to improve the nutrition of meals<br />Pressure to keep participation up<br />Pressure to balance revenue and cost<br />
  7. 7. School Lunch Trilemma<br />Pressure to improve the nutrition of meals<br />Pressure to keep participation up<br />Pressure to balance revenue and cost<br />We are going to stop selling chocolate milk<br />
  8. 8. School Lunch Trilemma<br />Pressure to improve the nutrition of meals<br />Pressure to keep participation up<br />Pressure to balance revenue and cost<br />We are going to stop selling chocolate milk<br />I’ll stop buying<br />
  9. 9. School Lunch Trilemma<br />Pressure to improve the nutrition of meals<br />Pressure to keep participation up<br />Pressure to balance revenue and cost<br />I’ll drink 3 glasses of chocolate milk when I get home<br />We are going to stop selling chocolate milk<br />I’ll stop buying<br />
  10. 10. The School Lunch Challenge<br />The Challenge:<br />Improve nutritional content of meals<br />Maintain low cost<br />Maintain participation<br />Encourage longer-term healthy decisions<br />
  11. 11. Why?:Economics and Psychology<br />Reactance<br />Rebelling against a threat to freedom<br />Fat tax versus a thin subsidy<br />Limits on ketchup<br />“Don’t press this button”<br />Attribution<br />It was my choice, I will repeat it in the future<br />Choosing between celery and carrots<br />
  12. 12. What We KnowAbout FoodDecisions<br />We have two decision-making mechanisms<br />Deliberative – Rational <br />Emotional – Naïve, knee-jerk reactions<br />Which takes over depends on the level of cognitive resources available<br />Stress or distraction leads us to eat more and eat worse<br />It takes effort and resources to resist temptation<br />
  13. 13. Hot vs. Cold Decisions<br />Hot State<br />We eat for<br />Taste<br />Convenience<br />Size<br />Visual effect<br />“This decision is an exception”<br />We buy<br />Bigger<br />More hedonistic<br />Cold State<br />We consider<br />Prices<br />Health information<br />Logic<br />We buy<br />Smaller portions<br />Moderate foods<br />
  14. 14. Sin and Virtue<br />The food environment responds to us<br />Marketers have learned to sell sinful foods to those in a hot state<br />Healthy convenience food is generally a flop<br />Healthy fast food is a flop<br />Bad foods that are difficult to prepare are also less successful<br />Cognitive policies (information or prices) won’t impact hot state consumers<br />Commit while in a cold state:<br />Control your future environment<br />Limit exposure to temptation<br />
  15. 15. What Does This Mean for Kids?<br />Ever wonder why kids food is generally less healthy?<br />Kids have not fully developed their rational system<br />Very little understanding of long term consequences<br />Developing understanding of the marketplace<br />Almost like a hot state – all the time<br />Reactance to paternalism<br />Fortunately, most kids find some healthy foods to be appealing and acceptable<br />We can make some foods cool<br />Wecan lead them to make the right choice<br />
  16. 16. Smarter Lunchrooms<br />What if we design the lunch room to gently encourage the decisions we want?<br />Use behavioral theory to encourage better choices<br />Some of these changes can be extremely low cost<br />This avoids reactance<br />Banning sodas etc. can be self-defeating<br />Encourages future healthy choices<br />
  17. 17. The BEN Center Mission<br />Explore how the tools of behavioral economics can be used to encourage better school lunch choices<br />Share successful behavioral strategies with school lunch administrators and encourage their use<br />Provide policy-makers with accurate information on how policy changes may impact children’s choice behavior<br />
  18. 18. Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics and Child Nutrition Research<br />
  19. 19. What is the Smarter Lunchrooms Initiative?<br />The Smarter Lunchrooms Initiative seeks to… <br /><ul><li>Nudge choices: Using research-based suggestions to guide students to unknowingly, make smarter, healthier choices in the lunchroom
  20. 20. Increase sales: Finding innovative ways to increase cafeteria sales and participation by encouraging greater consumption of healthier foods
  21. 21. Implement low-cost/no-cost changes: Since many cafeterias receive a limited budget, suggestions are focused on changing the school lunch environment
  22. 22. Keep a variety of food choices: Nudging students without completely eliminating unhealthy choices from the menu or only raising prices on less healthy foods</li></li></ul><li>Establish a Student Nutrition Advisory Council (SNAC)<br />Students become a larger part of the school lunchroom program<br />Students have input and ownership in meal choices<br />Decide which foods to serve on which days—schools can limit choices so it is not hard to implement (ex.: type of fruit)<br />Provide suggestions on which foods to serve <br />Provide useful, reliable suggestions on improvements to foods and atmosphere<br />Contest to name certain food items on menu<br />Points system or loyalty card to encourage participation in school lunch (ex., buy 5 meals, get one free)<br />
  23. 23. A side note: The impact of social influence on food choices<br /><ul><li>When eating in groups or social situations, individuals tend to eat quantities that are similar to others (Birch and Fisher, 2000; de Castro, 1994).
  24. 24. Students can influence one another’s food choices based on what the ‘leader’ of the group chooses
  25. 25. Influencing this ‘leader’ to choose healthier items can impact what other students choose
  26. 26. In younger grades, teachers and monitors are highly influential—they should encourage children that it is ‘cool’ to eat veggies</li></li></ul><li>Increase Variety of Healthier Foods<br />Increase the variety of more healthy a la carte items<br />Decrease the variety of less healthy selections<br />Ex.: pre-cut vegetables and health bars rather than chips and cookies<br />Integrate whole grain options into food items (ex.: pizza with corn or whole wheat flour) <br />Changes to school lunch foods should be made gradually (Ideally, over the summer or in increments)<br />TO THIS<br />ADD THESE <br />
  27. 27. Increase Student Involvement<br />Empowerment/Ownership/Self-serving Choice:<br />Make students feel good about eating healthy<br />Empowerment creates enthusiasm<br />Placing posters by the lunch lines of role models eating healthier items encourages students to emulate them <br />Increase student involvement in their own food choices through cooking or nutrition education<br />
  28. 28. Increase Parental Involvement<br />Provide lunch menus or pictures of food on parent newsletter or website<br />Parent advocates and monitors<br />Host a cafeteria open house<br />
  29. 29. Thank You<br />Learn More!<br />www.SmarterLunchrooms.org<br />
  30. 30. The Smarter Lunchrooms Initiative and the BEN Center<br />www.SmarterLunchrooms.org<br />BEN@cornell.edu<br />The BEN Center: Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs<br />Part of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab<br />Director: Dr. Brian Wansink, wansink@cornell.edu<br />Deputy Director: Adam Brumberg, ab697@cornell.edu<br />BEN Center Coordinator: Erin Sharp, eks6@cornell.edu<br />
  31. 31. References<br />Just, David R. and Brian Wansink (2009), “Better School Meals on a Budget: Using Behavioral Economics <br /> and Food Psychology to Improve Meal Selection,” Choices, 24:3, 1-6.<br />Just, David R. and Brian Wansink (2011), “School Lunch Debit Cards are Associated with Lower Nutrition <br /> and Higher Calories,” under review at Journal of Adolescent Health. <br />Wansink, Brian, and David Just (2011), “Healthy Foods First: Students Take the First Lunchroom Food <br /> 11% More Often Than the Third,” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume <br /> 43:4S1, S9.<br />Wansink, Brian, David R. Just, and Joe McKendry (2010), “Lunch Line Redesign,” New York Times, <br /> October 22, p. A10.<br />Wansink, Brian, David R. Just, and Collin R. Payne (2012), “The Behavioral Economics of Healthier <br /> School Lunch Payment Systems,” under review at Journal of Marketing.<br />Wansink, Brian, David Just, and Laura Smith (2011), “Move the Fruit: Putting Fruit in New Bowls and New<br /> Places Doubles Lunchroom Sales,” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume <br /> 43:4S1, S1.<br />Wansink, Brian, Koert van Ittersum, and James E. Painter (2005), “How Descriptive Food Names Bias <br /> Sensory Perceptions in Restaurants,” Food Quality and Preference, 16:5, 393-400.<br />Wansink, Brian, David Just, and Laura Smith (2011), “What is in a Name? Giving Descriptive Names to <br /> Vegetables Increases Lunchroom Sales,” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, <br /> Volume 43:4S1, S1.<br />

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