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Health Psychol. 2002 Sep;21(5):505-12.

Comparison of price change and health message interventions in promoting healthy food choices.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


This study examines the feasibility and effectiveness of an environmental intervention for improving diet by comparing the impact of health messages, lowered prices, and their combination on the purchase of healthy food items in a restaurant. Price decreases alone, rather than a combination of price decreases and health messages, were associated with a higher level of increased purchases of some healthy food items as compared with control items over a 4-month period. Price decreases may be a more powerful means than health messages of increasing consumption of healthy foods. Health messages may have paradoxical effects if foods labeled as healthy are assumed to taste bad.

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