Communication and Behavioral Economics Lunchroom Intervention in Iowa: Evaluation results and recommendations

Brady, P.; Ryan, G.; Askelson, N.M.; Worth, W.; Janson, A.; Pieper, F.; Veldhouse, N.; De Soriano, I.; Tuggle, L.


Behavioral economics interventions use free or low cost, evidence-based changes to lunchrooms to improve school lunch participation, pro ts, and students’ healthy food choices. Implementing these changes in school lunchrooms has increased purchases of white milk, vegetables, and fruit.

One common component of behavioral economics based interventions is suggestive selling; the use of verbal nudges to prompt speci c food choices. Food service sta have the potential to play an important role in suggestive selling, as they have many opportunities to communicate with students during the lunch period. Training food service sta , particularly in under-resourced, rural schools can be an e ective strategy to help food service sta become be er communicators and enable them to utilize suggestive selling techniques with their students.