Effectiveness or Consumer Acceptance? Tradeoffs in Selecting Healthy Eating Nudges
21 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2019
Date Written: March 24, 2019
Governments and companies that want to promote healthier eating must consider both the effectiveness and the acceptance of the ‘nudges’ given to consumers. Our review of the literature uncovers a wide range of nudges towards healthy eating, from nutrition labeling to portion size reductions, which are found to vary greatly in effectiveness and levels of public acceptance (64% of women; 52% of men). Acceptance of a nudge is inversely related to its effectiveness: only 43% of respondents approved the most effective intervention – portion and package size reductions. Approval levels increased with the perceived effectiveness of the nudge and with the perception that the nudge is good for both health and business (as opposed to only one of the two), especially among respondents who identify as conservatives. To encourage acceptance of the most effective nudge strategies, governments and companies should therefore correct misconceptions about which nudges work best, and should underscore the win-win potential for health and business.
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