Incentives that reward healthier food purchases and that provide reinforcement to the consumer have not been systematically and rigorously studied, particularly among lower-income populations. The aim of this study is to determine whether an incentive-based system increases healthier food purchasing practices by lower-income families. The study is a randomized controlled trial of 70 adult supermarket shoppers in Northwest Philadelphia who have at least one child 5 to 16 years of age living in the home. Participants randomized to the incentive arm have the opportunity to accumulate market dollars for a supermarket-based gift card, based on their purchases of fruits and vegetables. There are four phases of the study: 1) 8-week baseline purchase history; 2) 8-week active intervention; 3) 6-week tapering of the intervention; and (4) 6-week follow-up. Electronic supermarket data will be collected via frequent shopper cards, and participants will be interviewed at the beginning and the end of the study. This study will yield important data for community and policy stakeholders about the use of this form of incentive and its potential to increase healthier food purchasing practices in lower-income households.
Examining Rewards-Based Incentives for Fruit and Vegetable Purchases by Lower-Income Families
This paper examines the impact of a rewards-based incentive program on fruits and vegetable purchases in a supermarket located in a predominately minority community in Philadelphia, Pa. Researchers conducted a four-phase prospective cohort study with randomized intervention and wait-listed control groups. Households in the intervention were provided a 50 percent … More
Using Rewards-Based Incentives to Increase Purchase of Fruit and Vegetables in Lower-Income Households: Design and Start-Up of a Randomized Trial
This paper reports the design and baseline results of a rewards-based incentive program–the Frequent Buyer Rewards Study–in a large full-service supermarket located in a predominately minority community in Philadelphia, Penn. The Frequent Buyer Rewards Study is a four-phase randomized trial designed to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables in … More
Policymakers worldwide are considering requiring warnings for sugary drinks. A growing number of experimental studies have examined sugary drink warnings’ impacts, but no research to our knowledge has synthesized this literature. To inform ongoing policy debates, this study aimed to identify the effects of sugary drink warnings compared with control … More