Research from the University of Minnesota suggests that putting pictures of vegetables on students’ school-lunch trays could nudge them to eat healthier.
Researchers looked at the amount of vegetables students ate during a normal day in February 2011 and compared it with consumption when the cafeteria served the same menu in May. On the later date, students went through the lunch line with trays featuring photographs of carrots and green beans in two of the six compartments.
The percentage of students who took green beans increased from 6 percent to nearly 15 percent while the share of those taking carrots jumped from 12 percent to 37 percent. The paper was published online Feb. 1 by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
A version of this article appeared in the February 08, 2012 edition of Education Week as School Lunches