Researchers seek 3-5 year-olds and parents for a fun nutrition study
Research Study Details
A pilot study to test the application of a behavioral economic approach to prevent childhood obesity
Research Study for 3-5 year-olds and their parents. Find out how creative packaging may help your child eat better! Participate in a new Penn State study. You and your child may be eligible for a 5-week home based study that uses child-friendly food packaging to increase vegetable intake. Parental consent is required for your child to participate. Compensation up to $150 for the 5-week period. Interested? Please call the Packaging Study @ 814-863-9841. Conducted by Dr. Kathleen Keller in the Dept. of Nutritional Sciences at Penn State University.
The goal of this research is to use common food marketing approaches to improve children's eating behavior and prevent childhood obesity. In this study, we will test several methods for presenting vegetables to children in the home to test their effectiveness at increasing children's vegetable consumption: 1) pairing positively conditioned stimuli (cartoon characters) with healthful foods and 2) optimal defaults. In our current environment, energy dense foods that lack essential nutrients are reinforced because they are highly palatable, used as rewards, and heavily marketed. The term “sub-optimal defaults” has been used to describe the current environment because children are repeatedly placed in settings where nutritionally poor choices are the default, as opposed to nutrient rich foods like vegetables. Children perceive vegetables as unappealing because they are less palatable than processed foods, and little effort is made on behalf of the food industry to promote them to children. This creates an ideal situation to reinforce current dietary trends characterized by low vegetable intake and high processed food intake. Because it is difficult to change the taste of vegetables, a novel strategy to increase children’s intake of these foods is to use behavioral economics to change their perceived value. In this 5-week study, we will use child-friendly, cartoon packaging with a sticker incentive, offered to children as the default selection, as a strategy to increase vegetable intake and prevent childhood obesity.
Study Dates, Times and Location
Study Available by Appointment?: Yes
Location: Penn State and Home-based visits
Approximate Participant Study Length: 5 Hours
A total of 5 visits are required over a 5-week study period (one visit per week). Each visit will last approximately 1 hour and will be scheduled at your convenience. The first visit will take place at Penn State University, and follow-up visits will take place in the home.
This study has been approved by a Penn State Institutional Review Board (IRB). IRB Approval Number 40458