Lack of Efficacy of a Salience Nudge for Substituting Selection of Lower-Calorie for Higher-Calorie Milk in the Work Place

Amy L. Wilson, Svetlana Bogomolova, Jonathan D. Buckley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Obesity is a major burden on healthcare systems. Simple, cost effective interventions that encourage healthier behaviours are required. The present study evaluated the efficacy of a salience nudge for promoting a change in milk selection from full-cream to low-fat (lower-calorie) in the kitchen of a university-based research institute that provided full-cream and low-fat milk free of charge. Milk selection was recorded for 12 weeks (baseline). A sign with the message “Pick me! I am low calorie” was then placed on the low-fat milk and selection was recorded for a further 12 weeks. During baseline, selection of low-fat milk was greater than selection of full-cream milk (p = 0.001) with no significant milk-type × time interaction (p = 0.12). During the intervention period overall milk selection was not different from baseline (p = 0.22), with low-fat milk selection remaining greater than full-cream milk selection (p < 0.001) and no significant milk-type × time interaction (p = 0.41). However, sub-analysis of the first two weeks of the intervention period indicated an increase in selection of both milk types (p = 0.03), but with a greater increase in low-fat milk selection (p = 0.01, milk-type × time interaction). However, milk selection then returned towards baseline during the rest of the intervention period. Thus, in the present setting, salience nudging promoted a transient increase in low-fat milk selection, but also increased selection of full-cream milk, indicating that nudging was not effective in promoting healthier milk choices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4336-4344
Number of pages9
JournalNutrients
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Behavioural economics
  • Milk selection
  • Nudging
  • Obesity
  • Salience nudge
  • Workplace

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