Slim by Design: Moving from Can't to CAN
Behavioral Economics and Public Health, ed. Christina Roberto, 237-264, October 2015
47 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2016
Date Written: September 27, 2014
Behavioral science research on encouraging healthy behavior has had a frustratingly small impact on “Public Policy” and on the more “small p” policies of institutions such as worksites and schools. This may have to do with the way findings are organized and the way studies have conducted. This chapter has two purposes. The first is to emphasize that policies to encourage healthy behavior are not limited to national policies but include policies, cultures, or rules of thumb that can be implemented at the level of a company, a school, or a household. The second purpose is to show how research can change food choices – and other healthy choices – by using an organizing framework following the acronym CAN making healthy choices more convenient (physically and cognitively), more attractive (comparatively and absolutely), and more normative (actual and perceived), and that it can be done in a way that is actionable, useful, effective, and scalable. Such a framework could help expand both the relevance and reach behavioral science research into both small policies and large Policies.
Keywords: obesity, policy, behavior change, food selection, convenience
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