Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Feb;27(1):6-11.

A study of the importance of education and cost incentives on individual food choices at the Harvard School of Public Health cafeteria.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. kmichels@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate the importance of cost and awareness of health- or disease-promoting properties of foods and meals for choices by customers of a cafeteria.

DESIGN:

A non-randomized intervention study.

SETTING:

A medium size cafeteria in the Harvard School of Public Health.

PARTICIPANTS:

Customers of the cafeteria mainly consisting of public health students, faculty, and school staff and workers from the medical campus.

INTERVENTION:

The purchase of healthy foods and dishes was subsidized and their prices reduced by 20%. This promotion was accompanied by the distribution of educational material.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Change in consumption of healthy and less healthy foods.

ANALYSIS:

The geometric mean was used to calculate the change in consumption.

RESULTS:

During the intervention, we observed a 6% increase in the consumption of healthy foods (95% confidence interval [CI]; 5% to 8%), and a 2% decline in the consumption of less-healthy foods (95% CI; -1% to -4%). After the prices returned to their original levels, the consumption of healthy foods increased further to 17% (95% CI; 13% to 20%) and a 2% decline in the consumption of less-healthy foods (95% CI; % 1 to -5%) persisted.

CONCLUSIONS:

Subsidizing healthful meals and educating consumers about the importance of a healthy diet can result in a modest increase in the selection of healthy foods and meals that can be maintained beyond the periods of subsidy and promotion.

PMID:
18460476
PMCID:
PMC3850084
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center