Attractive names sustain increased vegetable intake in schools

September 17, 2012

The age-old parental struggle of convincing youngsters to eat their fruits and vegetables has some new allies: Power Punch Broccoli, X-Ray Vision Carrots—and a host of catchy names for entrees in school cafeterias. Cornell University researchers studied how a simple change, such as using attractive names, would influence elementary-aged children's consumption of vegetables.

In the first study, plain old carrots were transformed into "X-ray Vision Carrots." 147 students ranging from 8-11 years old from 5 ethnically and economically diverse schools participated in tasting the cool new foods. menus were the same except that carrots were added on three consecutive days. They found, for example, that by naming plain old carrots "X-ray vision carrots," fully 66 percent of the were eaten, far greater than the 32 percent eaten when labeled "Food of the Day"—and the 35 percent eaten when unnamed.

"This research suggests that schools have a low-cost or even no-cost solution to induce children to consume more ," said Brian Wansink, lead author of the study and professor of marketing at the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell. His co-authors are Cornell associate professor of marketing David Just, Collin Payne of New Mexico State University, and student Matthew Klinger.

"These results demonstrate that using attractive names for healthy foods increases kid's selection and consumption of these foods and that an attractive name intervention is robust, effective and scalable at little or no cost," Wansink said. "This research also confirms that using attractive names to make foods sound more appealing works on individuals across all age levels."

Explore further: Keep your fruit close and your vegetables closer

More information: foodpsychology.cornell.edu/outreach/whatname.html

Related Stories

Keep your fruit close and your vegetables closer

April 30, 2012
College students wishing to eat healthier may want to invest in a clear fruit bowl says a recent article published in Environment and Behavior (published by SAGE). The new study found that when fruits and vegetables are within ...

Can branding improve school lunches?

August 28, 2012
A popular marketing ploy with junk foods and other indulgent table fare can be an equally effective tool for promoting healthier eating in school cafeterias.

The hungry bypass veggies for starches, proteins

June 29, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- After going without food for 18 hours, most of us would rather reach for French fries or chicken fingers than green beans or carrots, according to a new study from Cornell's Food and Brand Lab.

'It's not nutritious until it's eaten'

February 13, 2012
As part of her "Let's Move! Initiative," First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled a new web resource highlighting new changes in the Chefs Move to Schools, during a CMST gathering in Dallas, TX today. CMTS advocates got together ...

Pack school lunches that are healthy and fun

September 2, 2012
(HealthDay)—Packing nutritious and fun school lunches can help children achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Recommended for you

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

Study shows cigarette makers shifted stance on nicotine patches, gum

August 17, 2017
The use of nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers or nasal sprays—together called "nicotine replacement therapy," or NRT—came into play in 1984 as prescription medicine, which when combined with counseling, helped ...

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, researchers find

August 17, 2017
A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by ...

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

August 17, 2017
Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) ...

Energy dense foods may increase cancer risk regardless of obesity status

August 17, 2017
Diet is believed to play a role in cancer risk. Current research shows that an estimated 30% of cancers could be prevented through nutritional modifications. While there is a proven link between obesity and certain types ...

Technology is changing Generation smartphone, and not always for the better

August 16, 2017
It's easy to imagine some graybeard long ago weighing in on how this new generation, with all its fancy wheels, missed out on the benefits of dragging stuff from place to place.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.