A study of the importance of education and cost incentives on individual food choices at the harvard school of public health cafeteria.

Auteur(s) :
Willett WC., Michels KB., Rosner BA., Bloom BR., Riccardi P.
Date :
Fév, 2008
Source(s) :
J Am Coll Nutr.. #27:1 p6-11
Adresse :
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA. kmichels@rics.bwh.harvard.edu

Sommaire de l'article

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.

Source : Pubmed
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