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).