Changing Eating Habits on the Home Front: Lost Lessons from World War II Research

Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 21:1 (Spring 2002). 90-99

33 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2016

Date Written: January 1, 2002

Abstract

Programs intending to improve nutrition often fall short of expectations. One exception, however, occurred during the rationing years of World War II when American citizens were encouraged to incorporate protein-rich organ meats into their protein deficient diets. Unfortunately, most of the insights resulting from these efforts remained unpublished or in limited distribution. For the first time, selected studies from this era are synthesized according to how they restructured social norms, changed perceptions of taste, and helped assimilate variety into their diets. Behaviorally-driven implications from these “lost lessons” are discussed in the context of the empirical contributions they made in defining what makes an unfavorable food acceptable.

Keywords: Organ meats, variety meats, World War II, WW2. food insecurity, family meals, rationing starvation, Margaret Mead, Kurt Lewin, food habits, changing behavior, shopping diets, nutrition, United States, eating habits, food neophobia, social psychology

Suggested Citation

Wansink, Brian, Changing Eating Habits on the Home Front: Lost Lessons from World War II Research (January 1, 2002). Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, 21:1 (Spring 2002). 90-99, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2711805

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