Smarter lunchrooms lead kids to eat more salad

Apr 27, 2010

Providing healthier food choices for our nation's schoolchildren is a hot-button issue in Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign. And a team of researchers from Cornell University have recently identified one simple solution to help schools serve more fresh vegetables and salad items.

Laura Smith, a researcher at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, presented the findings of the study "Convenience Drives Choice in School Lunchrooms" at this week's Experimental Biology conference in Anaheim, Calif.

In a year-long study in an upstate New York middle school, researchers examined the effect of moving the bar to a more prominent location in the cafeteria. Results show that sales of certain salad bar items increased by 250-300%.

"It wasn't a big move," Smith explained. "From its original location against a wall, we moved the salad bar out about four feet, in front of the cash registers."

"By the end of the year, this even led to 6% more kids eating school lunches," Smith said. "It's basic behavioral economics — we made it easier for them to make the right choice."

Smith and her colleagues, Professor Brian Wansink and Professor David Just, lead the Smarter Lunchroom Initiative. The initiative focuses on low-cost and no-cost changes that can be made in lunchrooms to subtly guide smarter choices.

Explore further: Oil-swishing craze: Snake oil or all-purpose remedy?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Parents can learn to raise vegetable lovers

May 15, 2007

Teaching children that vegetables are tasty as well as good for them can be a true parenting challenge. But by following a few simple tips, parents can increase the chances that their kids develop a taste for healthy, nutritious ...

New study: The kitchen-counter diet

Apr 26, 2010

Can eating less be as simple as leaving serving dishes on the stove and off the table? According to a team of researchers from Cornell University, it can.

Will a carrot or a stick prompt purchase of more carrots?

Dec 18, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Would a so-called Twinkie tax help curb obesity rates? Should shoppers who buy healthy goods earn rebates? A new study will seek to unravel the likely implications of legislative attempts to promote healthy ...

Recommended for you

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

Apr 18, 2014

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments : 0

More news stories

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...