February 7, 2012
You are what you eat, but do you eat what you see? In a research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from the University of Minnesota compared the consumption of vegetables on two separate days by 800 kindergarten through fifth grade students.
On the first day, the researchers observed how many vegetables the students took and how much of them were eaten. Then using trays with images of carrots and green beans, the researchers observed the same students eating the same school lunch a few months later. Although the consumed amount of each vegetable did not increase per student, more students took servings of vegetables, leading to an overall increase of vegetables consumed.
The cost and time to create trays with images of vegetables is relatively low. Even though the amount of vegetables consumed was still below recommended guidelines, it may be a step in the right direction. More research is needed to study various settings and long term effects of this outcome.
Read the full article at LA Times: