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PLoS One. 2018 Jan 2;13(1):e0189693. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189693. eCollection 2018.

The effect of images of Michelle Obama's face on trick-or-treaters' dietary choices: A randomized control trial.

Author information

1
Departments of Political Science and Biostatistics, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States of America.
2
Department of Finance, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, United States of America.
3
Department of Political Science, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States of America.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the microfoundations of a personality-inspired public health campaign's influence on minors.

DESIGN:

Multi-year randomized control trial.

SETTING:

Economics professor's front porch in New Haven, CT.

PARTICIPANTS:

1223 trick-or-treaters in New Haven over three years; on average, 8.5 years old and 53% male (among children whose gender was identifiable).

ELIGIBILITY:

Trick-or-treaters over the age of three that approached the house.

INTERVENTION:

Random assignment to the Michelle Obama side of the porch or the Comparison side of the porch.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Selection of fruit over candy.

METHODS:

Difference-in-means estimates.

RESULTS:

We estimate that viewing a photograph of Michelle Obama's face relative to control conditions caused children to be 19% more likely to choose fruit over candy.

CONCLUSIONS:

Michelle Obama's initiative to reduce childhood obesity has influenced children's dietary preferences. Whether this influence extends beyond Halloween trick-or-treating in New Haven, CT on the porch of an economics professor requires further research.

PMID:
29293539
PMCID:
PMC5749710
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0189693
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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