Incentives can be a powerful tool to achieve a desired end result. Would you eat more fruits & vegetables if you knew you would earn a prize? The government is currently funding a $31 million grant program to find out that exact question… can incentives increase the fruits and vegetables consumption of low-income consumers?
In 2012 the USDA, performed a similar study in which they allowed SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) households to receive 30 cents on every SNAP dollar spent on specific fruits and vegetables. The cost savings incentive increased consumption of these specific fruits and vegetables of about one quarter of a cup per day.
In the United Kingdom, researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh, Essex, and Bath gave elementary students a star for every time they choose a portion of fruits or vegetables at lunch time or if they brought it from home.
After a student earned 4 stars they would earn a prize such as a highlighter pen. Once the incentive program was removed from the school, the majority of the children continued to eat more fruits and vegetables.
If you or your kids are struggling to eat your veggies, maybe an incentive is what you need to get motivated!