Finger Fruits: Pre-Sliced Fruit in Schools Increases Selection and Intake

Wansink, Brian, David R. Just, Andrew S. Hanks, and Laura E. Smith (2013), “Pre-Sliced Fruit in Schools Increases Selection and Intake,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44:5 (May), 477-480.

10 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2014 Last revised: 29 Apr 2017

See all articles by Brian Wansink

Brian Wansink

Retired

David Just

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Andrew Hanks

The Ohio State University

Laura Smith

Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University

Date Written: October 17, 2012

Abstract

Background: It is often assumed that children avoid fruit in school cafeterias because of higher relative prices and a preference for other foods. Laddering interviews reveal that younger children with small mouths or braces find whole fresh fruit difficult to eat. Older girls avoid it because it is messy and unattractive to eat.

Purpose: To determine if offering pre-sliced fruit would increase the selection and intake of fruit among middle school students.

Design: Three out of six middle schools were randomly given commercial fruit slicers and instructed to use them when students ordered apples. The selection and consumption of sliced apples was compared to selection and consumption of whole apples in control schools.

Setting/Participants: Cafeterias in six public middle schools in Wayne County, New York. All students who ordered a lunch on days when data was collected. Intervention: In the fall semester of 2011, treatment schools were given a standard commercial fruit slicer and instructed to use it when students requested apples. Production and waste measurements were taken by trained researchers.

Main Outcome Measures: Apple and other fruit sales, percentage wasted, and consumed.

Results: Apple sales increased by 41% and consumption increased by 17%.

Conclusions: Using the behavioral economics principle of convenience, this study shows that sliced fruit is more appealing than unsliced fruit, simply due to eating convenience and neatness. Opportunities exist for identifying effective applications of convenience and other environmental changes that promote healthy eating behavior and decrease waste.

Suggested Citation

Wansink, Brian and Just, David and Hanks, Andrew and Smith, Laura, Finger Fruits: Pre-Sliced Fruit in Schools Increases Selection and Intake (October 17, 2012). Wansink, Brian, David R. Just, Andrew S. Hanks, and Laura E. Smith (2013), “Pre-Sliced Fruit in Schools Increases Selection and Intake,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44:5 (May), 477-480., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2473208 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2473208

Brian Wansink (Contact Author)

Retired ( email )

607-319-0123 (Phone)

David Just

Cornell University - Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States
6072552086 (Phone)

Andrew Hanks

The Ohio State University ( email )

130A Campbell Hall
1787 Neil Ave.
Columbus, OH OH 43210
United States

Laura Smith

Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University ( email )

Savage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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