Thursday, September 01, 2016

Maybe a "noodgy" computer can improve kids' lunches

According to the Dept of Agriculture, more than five billion school lunches are served in the US everyday.

Although 99.9% of kids eat some fruits and veggies each day, fewer than 1% eat the amounts recommended by the government.

University of Florida researchers did a small study of 71 kids at a Florida public school. (J of Economic Psychology)

Two groups of fifth and sixth graders ordered their lunches via computer. One group received hints that they had not selected all five components of a healthy lunch (meat or alternative, grain, fruit, veggie, low-fat milk). The other group ordering online received no hints.

The third group just went through the line as usual.

The group receiving the "noodges" chose 51% more fruit, 29% more veggies, and 37% more low-fat milk. The computer-orderers without hints also ordered more of the good stuff than the kids that went through the line as usual.

So will this system spread?

Who knows--interesting idea, though.

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