Consumer Psychology in the School Lunch Room

The USDA approved a research grant to explore using various behavioral psychology techniques to convince school kids to make healthier choices.  Suggestions include merchandising fruits and vegetables in attractive baskets instead of bins, placing a salad bar by the check out line and making desserts and snacks cash only. 

While the intentions are good, I see a few issues.

1. Do we really need to start training elementary kids to fall for sales tricks, even if done with their best interests at heart?

2. When I read “cash only desserts” I see “no cookies for poor kids.”   While it is, of course, better for all kids to eat more nutrient rich food than they’re consuming now, it seems a bit paternalistic to give the kids with less money fewer choices.

What do you think, readers?

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[E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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