KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Motivating Food Shoppers To Make Healthy Choices

Researchers at RAND found offering rebates for healthy foods can lead to shifts in diets, which could have public policy implications.

NPR: Cash Back On Broccoli: Health Insurers Nudge Shoppers To Be Well
In the U.S., Wal-Mart and a company called HumanaVitality are now testing a similar healthful food incentives pilot program. Members of HumanaVitality, a partnership between the Vitality Group (owned by Discovery) and health insurer Humana, save 5 percent when they buy foods with the Great For You label at Wal-Mart. But is a 5 percent rebate, or discount, enough to motivate people to change their shopping patterns? It's not clear. HumanaVitality will find out when they analyze the results in September (Aubrey, 3/19).

Los Angeles Times: Rebates Motivate Shoppers To Buy Produce, Whole Grains, Study Says
The Rand study said interest is growing in food discount programs as motivators to improve diet. Nutrient-rich foods have become more expensive, compared with calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods, and some speculate that this contributes to obesity, the researchers noted. The U.S. Congress funded a demonstration discount project that took place last year in Massachusetts; results are being analyzed (MacVean, 3/19).

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