Source: USDA/ERS submitted to
AN EXPLORATION OF POTENTIAL USES OF BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS CONCEPTS FOR IMPROVING THE DIETS OF FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM PARTICIP
Sponsoring Institution
Economic Research Service/USDA
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0406270
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
FANRP 188
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Sep 28, 2004
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2008
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Mancino, L.
Recipient Organization
USDA/ERS
1800 M STREET NW
WASHINGTON,DC 20036
Performing Department
ECONOMIC RESEARCH SERVICE
Non Technical Summary
This project will examine the potential applicability of behavioral economics and food psychology concepts to strategies for improving the diets of food assistance program participants. The project will include a critical review of the literature, generation of experimental hypotheses, development of experimental protocols, and small-scale experiments.
Animal Health Component
100%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
100%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
61050103010100%
Knowledge Area
610 - Domestic Policy Analysis;

Subject Of Investigation
5010 - Food;

Field Of Science
3010 - Economics;
Keywords
Goals / Objectives
To examine the potential applicability of behavioral economics and food psychology concepts to strategies for improving the diets of food assistance program participants. The project will include a critical review of the literature, generation of experimental hypotheses, development of experimental protocols, and small-scale experiments.
Project Methods
This project will review the literature on important behavioral economics and food psychology concepts and critically assess the potential application of these concepts to the improvement of diets of participants in USDA food assistance and nutrition programs. Researchers will examine how the application of behavioral economics and food psychology concepts to improving diet may be affected by characteristics of food assistance programs (e.g. provision of economic assistance for food purchase as in WIC or Food Stamps vs. provision of meals through programs such as the National School Lunch Program), by characteristics of recipients (adult participants in programs such as Food Stamps vs. child and adolescent participants in programs such as the National School Lunch Program), and by nutritional objectives of programs. The researchers will also examine how behavioral economics and food psychology concepts could inform the policy debate around suggested changes in these programs (e.g. current debate regarding limiting competitive foods in schools, limiting foods purchasable through the Food Stamp Program, etc.). They will draw on the information generated through this literature review to generate hypotheses for experiments to test the potential application of behavioral economics and food psychology concepts to strategies for improving the diets of food assistance program participants. They will develop experimental protocols, test the feasibility of the experiments identified through this process in a small group of subjects, describe results of these feasibility tests, and suggest any modifications necessary for a larger experimental study.

Progress 09/28/04 to 09/30/08

Outputs
During FY 2008, findings from the school-meal experiments were synthesized and drafted as an ERS economic research report. The final report "Behavioral Economic Concepts to Encourage Healthy Eating in School Cafeterias⿝ (David Just, Brian Wansink, Lisa Mancino and Joanne Guthrie) cleared the ERS Peer Review Coordinating Council for publicaion in FY08. A draft of this research was also synthesized for an Amber Waves feature (with Joanne Guthrie).

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Just, D., Mancino, L., and Wansink, B., 2007, Could Behavioral Economics Help Improve Diet Quality for Nutrition Assistance Program Participants?, Economic Research Report, ERR-43, Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, June, pp.
  • David R. Just, Brian Wansink, Lisa Mancino and Joanne Guthrie, 2008, Behavioral economic concepts to encourage healthy eating in school cafeterias: Experiments and lessons from college students, Economic Research Report, ERR-68, ERS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, December, pp.


Progress 10/01/04 to 09/30/05

Outputs
A prelimanary draft of the white paper was prepared and reviewed. Currently, work is underway on addressing suggested changes. A description of an experiment to evaluate how providing options that allow students to either pre-select, pre-pay or both pre-select and prepay for certain menu items affects the healthfulness of meal choices was drafted and approved. Theses experiments will be conducted once construction on the Food and Brand Lab is complete.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications