Researchers: Marketing may get kids to eat more vegetables

Posted at 6:35 PM, Aug 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-12 20:35:41-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah -- Marketing might be the key to getting kids to eat their vegetables and a West Jordan elementary school is one of the first to try it here in Utah.

Researchers from the Cornell center for child nutrition observed how lunch is served to students at Hayden Peak Elementary school. The group, called the Smarter Lunchrooms Program, travels the country to rank schools and offer suggestions on how to get kids to take and eat healthy foods.

“A couple of things our research has shown is by adding descriptive name especially at the elementary school level can increase consumption of the foods,” said Kathryn Hoy, Manager of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics and Child Nutrition. “Like taking carrots and naming them X-ray vision carrots doubles consumption of those carrots. Or the burrito becomes the big bad bean burrito. In our research they actually sold out when they renamed them.”

They say placement and suggestive selling is everything, because if  kids can't see the fresh stuff or don’t know about it they are unlikely to pick it up.

“If you can get one or two to try it, than the rest of the line will be like, ‘hey wait a minute we want it too,’” said lunch lady Sharon Barlow.