Nudging Nutrition: Using Behavioral Economics to Make Healthy Choices Easy in Food Service Operations
Modern food environments are often saturated with unhealthy food items. There is increasing evidence that nudging consumers can improve dietary behaviors, through methods such as increasing vegetable sales and reducing portions of unhealthy food items. The concept of nudging is grounded in behavioral economics, which argues that consumers are susceptible to behavioral biases because they often make decisions based on mental shortcuts which can subsequently lead to less healthy or more wasteful food decisions. By implementing nudges, dietetic professionals can empower their customers to make healthier choices. In this session, we will provide an overview of the theoretical foundations of nudges and their effectiveness. We will also share success stories of nudge implementation in K-12 schools, university dining, and corporate cafeteria settings.
- Explain what nudges are and how they can be used to make the healthy choice the easiest choice.
- Describe how RDNs and NDTRs can use nudges to promote improved diet quality and/or reduced food waste.
- Identify a nudge that would be appropriate to incorporate in their own practice setting.
- 11.1.3 Leads and facilitates product testing using
research methodologies to determine acceptability
and viability and to confirm desired outcomes.
- 11.3.3 Instills and maintains trust and respect from
the customer, stakeholders and others.
- 9.1.3 Identifies and analyzes factors that influence
Deanne Brandstetter, MBA, RD
Vice President Nutrition and Wellness
Melissa Pflugh Prescott, PhD, RDN, FAND
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Tracy Wilczek, MS, RDN, LDN, FAND
Regional Wellness Director, FLIK Hospitality, Compass Group USA
Compass Group USA