Project: Incentivizing Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Elementary Schools
Award Year: 2010
Amount of award, fiscal 2010: $350,000.00
Institution: Utah State University, Logan, UT
Principal Investigator: Gregory Madden
Status: Ongoing
Detailed Objective: This project will evaluate a school-based incentives program designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in elementary schoolchildren. The incentives program—known as the Food Dudes program—is a tested program that has produced significant positive results on fruit and vegetable consumption in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This project will test its effectiveness in an American population. The program conjointly uses role models and tangible rewards (small prizes) to encourage repeated tasting of fruits and vegetables, with escalating goals designed to gradually increase fruit and vegetable consumption and establish new eating habits. This study will test the effects of the full program and the program without tangible rewards, as compared with a control group. Matched elementary schools in Cache County, UT, will be randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. Objective measures of fruit and vegetable consumption will be compared across schools over the course of the school year.
Topic: Behavioral Economics, Child Nutrition, Dietary Intake and Quality, School Lunch and Breakfast
Wengreen, H., G. Madden, S. Aguilar, R. Smits, and B. Jones. “Incentivizing Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: Results of a United States Pilot Study of the Food Dudes Program,” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Vol. 45, No. 1, January-February 2013.