• Type

    Comparative study with concurrent controls

  • Outcomes/Outputs

    Research impacts on vegetable intake,Research creates behaviour change relating to vegetable consumption

  • Scale


  • Setting

    Primary School

  • Population targeted

    Children - primary 5-12ys

  • Focus

    Vegetable consumption

  • Duration

    Short (<1 year)

  • Funding


  • Total cost



We report two field studies in an elementary school cafeteria that each demonstrate children eat more of a vegetable (carrots, broccoli) when we provide it first in isolation versus alongside other more preferred foods


CAFETERIA FIELD STUDY: This study had two primary objectives. First, it tested our core prediction that people eat larger quantities of a vegetable when first receiving it in isolation versus alongside other foods. Second, this study tested whether the predicted effects of food order prove successful as a dietary intervention in the natural setting of a school cafeteria. LONGITUDINAL STUDY : This study tests whether our core prediction holds specifically for a different vegetable (broccoli) and a different presentation procedure (eat while standing in the register line); and whether the intervention remains effective over time.


CAFETERIA FIELD STUDY: On the 'vegetables first' day, small cups containing two mini carrots were placed on the cafeteria tables, so that there would be a cup in front of each student on arrival which they could eat while they waited to enter the cafeteria line. Students were not explicitly instructed or encouraged to eat the carrots. On the 'control' day the same menu and cafeteria procedures/menu were repeated, aside from the cups of carrots. LONGITUDINAL STUDY: On 'vegetable first' days (x3 days, 2-3 weeks apart) students were handed cups with a small serving of broccoli before they entered the lunch lime, with no verbal encouragement to eat them. Students had a few minutes to eat the broccoli while waiting in line. The same procedures/menu, without provision of broccoli, were repeated on control days.

Journal article: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0121283