Could the household trick of hiding the cookie jar to promote better eating habits work on a larger scale at colleges and universities? A study by researchers from the University of New Hampshire suggests that this strategy might indeed be effective.

Loris Rubini and Deniz Ozabaci, associate professors of economics at UNH Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, found that the relocation of the dessert section at UNH’s Stillings Dining Hall to an area less visible to diners reduced cookie consumption by up to 18%.

This UNH research further complements research already published about the concept of “nudging,” the idea that simple “nudges” can accomplish a lot, including the effects of altering the location of food items, according to Rubini. “Moving the food around can greatly affect consumption. For example, in supermarkets, placing gum near the cash register increased the consumption of gum a lot,” Rubini says. “We are showing that the opposite also works. Moving unhealthy food to remote places reduces its consumption.                                                                                                   

Loris Rubini
Deniz Ozabaci

                  Read More