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Nutrients. 2015 Jun 2;7(6):4336-44. doi: 10.3390/nu7064336.

Lack of efficacy of a salience nudge for substituting selection of lower-calorie for higher-calorie milk in the work place.

Author information

1
Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5000, Australia. Amy.Wilson@MarketingScience.Info.
2
Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5000, Australia. Svetlana@MarketingScience.Info.
3
Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA), Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, Adelaide 5000, Australia. Jon.Buckley@unisa.edu.au.

Abstract

Obesity is a major burden on healthcare systems. Simple, cost effective interventions that encourage healthier behaviours are required. The present study evaluated the efficacy of a salience nudge for promoting a change in milk selection from full-cream to low-fat (lower calorie) in the kitchen of a university-based research institute that provided full-cream and low-fat milk free of charge. Milk selection was recorded for 12 weeks (baseline). A sign with the message "Pick me! I am low calorie" was then placed on the low-fat milk and consumption was recorded for a further 12 weeks. During baseline, selection of low-fat milk was greater than selection of full-cream milk (p = 0.001) with no significant milk-type × time interaction (p = 0.12). During the intervention period overall milk selection was not different from baseline (p = 0.22), with low-fat milk consumption remaining greater than full-cream milk selection (p < 0.001) and no significant milk-type × time interaction (p = 0.41). However, sub-analysis of the first two weeks of the intervention period indicated an increase in selection of both milk types (p = 0.03), but with a greater increase in low-fat milk selection (p = 0.01, milk-type × time interaction). However, milk selection then returned towards baseline during the rest of the intervention period. Thus, in the present setting, salience nudging promoted a transient increase in low-fat milk consumption, but also increased selection of full-cream milk, indicating that nudging was not effective in promoting healthier milk choices.

KEYWORDS:

behavioural economics; milk selection; nudging; obesity; salience nudge; workplace

PMID:
26043033
PMCID:
PMC4488787
DOI:
10.3390/nu7064336
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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