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Simple Changes In School Lunchroom Design Can Lead To Healthier Food Choices

September 29, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
A study by Cornell University scientists shows that children are more likely to eat fruit in a cafeteria setting if the fruit is displayed in colorful bowls. Moving the fruit increased sales by 104 percent, and is just one of many simple, cheap, and effective tools that lead schoolchildren to choose healthier food. The research was conducted as part of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement at Cornell’s Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (BEN). With the White House, BEN created the Chef’s Move to Schools program as part of the national fight against childhood obesity. The BEN center has analyzed many school lunchrooms, finding layouts and designs that hindered student's selection of nutritious foods. The lunchrooms were revamped with easy, low-cost/no-cost environmental changes that resulted in an increase in healthy food choices.
Brian Wansink, "When Chefs Move the Fruit", News release, presentation at the American Dietetic Association Conference, September 29, 2011, © Cornell Food & Brand Lab
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