Project: Drawing Attention to Healthy Choices with Lighting
Award Year: 2010
Amount of award, fiscal 2010: $30,000.00
Institution: University of Connecticut
Principal Investigator: Ann Ferris
Status: Ongoing
Detailed Objective: This project will draw on previous behavioral economics food choice research to assess how successfully cafeteria lighting can be manipulated to increase the number of students choosing fruits and vegetables. Previous research has found lighting can enhance a food’s appeal; manipulating lighting may also help nutritious foods to stand out and grab the attention of distracted students in the rushed environment of a school cafeteria. This pilot study will be implemented over a four month period in two Connecticut middle schools matched for cafeteria layout and similar food offerings, using a crossover research design. Specialized lighting will be used to highlight fruits and vegetables. Cafeteria data on food selection will be used to assess effectiveness. If effective, this would be a simple, cost-effective strategy for promoting fruit and vegetable choice.
Topic: Behavioral Economics, Child Nutrition, School Lunch and Breakfast