Success in slowing obesity trends would benefit from policies aimed
at reducing calorie consumption. In a field experiment at a fast-food
sandwich chain, we address the effects of providing calorie information,
mimicking recent legislation, and test an alternative approach
that makes ordering healthier slightly more convenient. We find that
calorie information reduces calorie intake. Providing a daily calorie
target does as well, but only for non-overweight individuals. Making
healthy choices convenient reduces intake when the intervention is
strong. However, a milder implementation reduces sandwich calories,
but does not reduce total calories due to compensatory effects
on side orders and drinks. (JEL I12, I18, L81)
Wisdom, Jessica, Julie S. Downs, and George Loewenstein.
"Promoting Healthy Choices: Information versus Convenience."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce