Thursday, October 27, 2011

A review on economic incentives and nutritional behavior among children in the school setting

Health behaviour may be promoted by different incentives. Economic incentives, i.e. monetary rewards or price incentives, e.g. making healthy foods less expensive and unhealthy foods more expensive, may be applied. However, the true possibilities and effects of such interventions are debated, and their applicability among children may be doubtful. The aim of a review, just published online in the journal Nutrition Reviews, was to examine the existing literature on the effectiveness of economic incentives for producing sound nutritional behavior in schools Altogether, 3,472 research publications were identified in the systematic search, of which 50 papers were retrieved. Of these, 30 publications representing 28 studies were regarded as of highe enough quality and relevant. The review indicates that price incentives are effective for altering consumption in the school setting. Other types of economic incentives have been included in combined intervention schemes, but the inclusion of other intervention elements makes it difficult to draw conclusions about their effectiveness.