Date of this Version
Judgment and Decision Making
Very small but cumulated decreases in food intake may be sufficient to erase obesity over a period of years. We examine the effect of slight changes in the accessibility of different foods in a pay-by-weight-of-food salad bar in a cafeteria serving adults for the lunch period. Making a food slightly more difficult to reach (by varying its proximity by about 10 inches) or changing the serving utensil (spoon or tongs) modestly but reliably reduces intake, in the range of 8-16%. Given this effect, it is possible that making calorie-dense foods less accessible and low-calorie foods more accessible over an extended period of time would result in significant weight loss.
© 2011 Society for Judgment and Decision Making
Readers are reminded that this work is protected by copyright. While they are free to use the ideas expressed in it, they may not copy, distribute or publish the work or part of it, in any form, printed, electronic or otherwise, except for reasonable quoting, clearly indicating the source. Readers are permitted to make copies, electronically or printed, for personal and classroom use.
obesity, environment, behavior, choice architecture, nudge
Rozin, P., Scott, S., Dingley, M., Urbanek, J. K., Jiang, H., & Kaltenbach, M. (2011). Nudge to Nobesity I: Minor Changes in Accessibility Decrease Food Intake. Judgment and Decision Making, 6 (4), 323-332. Retrieved from https://repository.upenn.edu/marketing_papers/410
Date Posted: 15 June 2018
This document has been peer reviewed.