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Food and Nutrition Assistance Research Database

Project: Exploration of Potential Uses of Behavioral Economics Concepts for Improving the Diets of Food Assistance Program Participants
Award Year: 2004
Amount of award, fiscal 2004: $99,540.00
Institution: Cornell University
Principal Investigator: David Just
Status: Ongoing
Detailed Objective: This project will assess the potential applicability of behavioral economics and food psychology concepts to strategies for improving the diets of food assistance program participants. The project will examine how the application of behavioral economics and food psychology concepts to improving diet may be affected by characteristics of food assistance programs (e.g., provision of economic assistance for food purchase as in WIC or the Food Stamp Program vs. provision of meals through programs such as the National School Lunch Program), by characteristics of recipients (adult participants in programs such as food stamps vs. child and adolescent participants in programs such as the National School Lunch Program), and by nutritional objectives of programs. The project will also consider how behavioral economics and food psychology concepts could inform the policy debate around suggested changes in these programs (e.g., limiting competitive foods in schools, limiting foods purchasable through the Food Stamp Program, etc.). Using the information generated through this critical review, the project will generate hypotheses for experiments to test the potential application of behavioral economics and food psychology concepts to strategies for improving the diets of food assistance program participants, develop experimental protocols, and conduct small-scale experiments to establish the feasibility of their proposed approach.
Topic: Behavioral Economics
Output:
Just, D., and B. Wansink. “Smarter Lunchrooms: Using Behavioral Economics to Improve Meal Selection,” Choices, Vol. 24, No. 3, 3rd Quarter 2009.
Just, D., B. Wansink, L. Mancino, and J. Guthrie. Behavioral Economic Concepts To Encourage Healthy Eating in School Cafeterias: Experiments and Lessons From College Students, Economic Research Report No. 68, USDA, ERS, December 2008.
Just, D., L. Mancino, and B. Wansink. Could Behavioral Economics Help Improve Diet Quality for Nutrition Assistance Program Participants? Economic Research Report No. 43, USDA, ERS, June 2007.
Mancino, L. “Insidious Consumption: Surprising Factors That Influence What We Eat and How Much,” Amber Waves, Vol. 5, Issue 3, USDA, ERS, June 2007.

Last updated: Monday, August 04, 2014

For more information contact: Victor Oliveira

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