The Prospect Of Losing Financial Incentives Can Motivate Healthy Eating: Study

The Huffington Post:

The prospect of losing out on a deal really can be an effective motivator when it comes to eating healthfully, a new study suggests.

Researchers from Tulane University and Duke University found that people were more apt to buy healthy foods at the grocery store if they risked losing a cash-back discount for purchasing such foods by not doing so.

For the study, more than 6,500 households in South Africa enrolled to be part of the Discovery Health Vitality Rewards program, which entailed receiving a cash-back discount for purchasing healthy foods at the grocery store. Some of the households were given the option to make a goal to increase the amount of healthy foods they bought each month by 5 percentage points (so if 25 percent of a household’s grocery purchases was comprised of healthy foods, the goal would then make 30 percent of the purchases be of healthy foods).

“These were people that tried to use the financial penalty to improve their own behavior and failed to do so. But they did not blame anyone else, and they did not stop trying,” study researcher Dan Ariely, of Duke University, said in a statement.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

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