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A Nudge Too Much : Nudging healthy food choices in restaurants through its menu and eating environment

Di Matola, S.M. (2020) A Nudge Too Much : Nudging healthy food choices in restaurants through its menu and eating environment.

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Abstract:Aim. This study investigates whether a combination of a traffic light nudge and a green-plant based environment can positively influence the healthiness of food choices in restaurants. Method. A 2 (menu: traffic light label versus no traffic light label) × 2 (restaurant eating environment: green plant-based versus regular) between subjects experiment was performed in a restaurant. Participants (N = 82) who were under the impression of aiding in a taste experiment. The menu was composed of healthy and unhealthy dishes. After finishing their lunch, a questionnaire with questions about lunch and construct measures was handed out. Results. Analyses showed that the traffic light nudge had a positive effect on healthiness of food choice. There was no main effect for the restaurant eating environment. Data showed a marginally significant interaction effect between the menu and eating environment. The traffic light nudge was more effective in the normal eating environment than in the green plant-based environment. Conclusion. This study provides evidence that the healthiness of food choices can be increased by implementing a salience nudge in restaurants. The combination of two nudges can create a “boomerang” effect. More research is required to explore why certain nudges negate the effect of other nudges.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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