Beyond Carrots and Sticks: Europeans Support Health Nudges

Food Policy, Forthcoming

Posted: 9 Sep 2016 Last revised: 16 Feb 2017

See all articles by Lucia Reisch

Lucia Reisch

Copenhagen Business School; Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen

Cass R. Sunstein

Harvard Law School; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Wencke Gwozdz

Copenhagen Business School; University of Hohenheim

Date Written: September 6, 2016

Abstract

All over the world, nations are using “health nudges” to promote healthier food choices and to reduce the health care costs of obesity and non-communicable diseases. In some circles, the relevant reforms have controversial. On the basis of nationally representative online surveys, we examine whether Europeans favour such nudges. The simplest answer is that majorities in six European nations (Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and the UK) do so. We find majority approval for a series of nudges, including educational messages in movie theaters, calorie and warning labels, store placement promoting healthier food, sweet-free supermarket cashiers and meat-free days in canteens. At the same time, we find somewhat lower approval rates in Hungary and Denmark. An implication for policymakers is that citizens are highly likely to support health nudges. An implication for further research is the importance of identifying the reasons for cross-national differences, where they exist.

Keywords: health policy; health nudges; behavioral regulation; acceptability, health defaults

Suggested Citation

Reisch, Lucia and Sunstein, Cass R. and Gwozdz, Wencke, Beyond Carrots and Sticks: Europeans Support Health Nudges (September 6, 2016). Food Policy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2836325 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2836325

Lucia Reisch (Contact Author)

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen ( email )

Am Seemooser Horn 20
Friedrichshafen, 88045
Germany

Cass R. Sunstein

Harvard Law School ( email )

1575 Massachusetts Ave
Areeda Hall 225
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-2291 (Phone)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Wencke Gwozdz

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark
+4538153391 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cbs.dk/staff/wg

University of Hohenheim ( email )

Germany

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