Fish versus meat: Nudging the healthier choice off food in hotel lunch buffets
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonMobekk, H., Karevold, K.I., Tran, H. & Stjernen, K. (2018). Fish versus meat: Nudging the healthier choice of food in hotel lunch buffets. Norsk Tidsskrift for Ernæring, 16(3), 6-13
Background One of the objectives of the Norwegian National Action Plan for Healthy Diets (2017-2021) is to increase the intake of fish. The aim of this study was to encourage hotel guests to choose more fish and less meat by altering the choice architecture of hotel lunch buffets with the use of placement and labeling nudges. Methods An experimental study was conducted with three conditions: meat before fish (A), fish before meat (B), and fish before meat including a sign with the text “Eat Smart” placed on the fish dish (C). Conference guests at three hotels were observed during lunch. The number of entrées taken, and the average portion size, was measured. Results The percentage of guests selecting meat decreased in both condition B (48.5%) and condition C (56.1%) compared to condition A (60.3%). The percentage of guests selecting fish increased in both condition B (27.9%) and condition C (34.9%) compared to condition A (23.8%). However, the average amount of fish consumed per guest decreased in condition B (154 grams) and C (159 grams) compared to condition A (238 grams). The effect of the two nudges varied between the hotels. Conclusions Rearranging food order and using signs can nudge conference attendees toward healthier choices. Differences between the hotels might be due to the different designs of the buffets. It is therefore crucial to include the microenvironment when doing interventions.