School cafeterias to try psychology in lunch line

Department of Agriculture spends $2 million on techniques aimed at convincing children to choose healthy foods

Published October 12, 2010 4:40PM (EDT)

Federal officials are turning to psychology in a new approach to get kids to choose healthier foods in the school lunch line.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is giving $2 million to food behavior scientists to use marketing tricks to encourage kids to pick fruits and veggies over cookies and french fries.

Some of the ideas include hiding chocolate milk behind plain milk, putting the salad bar near checkout, placing fruit in pretty baskets and accepting only cash as payment for desserts.

Studies by Cornell University researchers have found these tactics work, and Cornell will start a new child nutrition center to test more of these methods.


By Marilynn Marchione

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