Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics News Archive

You are viewing 4 posts with the tag Julie Downs

Ordering Food in Advance Leads to Healthier Choices

Source: New York Times, Consumer Reports, Science Alert, New York Magazine, July 25, 2016

The New York Times profiled CHIBE's study, "Advance Ordering for Healthier Eating? Field Experiments on the Relationship Between the Meal Order–Consumption Time Delay and Meal Content," recently published in the Journal of Marketing Research.

CHIBE Postdoctoral Fellow Eric VanEpps told the Times, "If a decision is going to be implemented immediately, we just care about the immediate consequences, and we discount the long-term costs and benefits. In the case of food, we care about what’s happening right now – like how tasty it is – but discount the long-term costs of an unhealthy meal.”


“Traffic-light” and Numeric Calorie Labels Cut Calorie Consumption

Sources: Penn Medicine NewsUS News & World Report, Huffington Post, CBS Philly, Tech Times, New Hampshire Voice, June 17, 2016

A recent study published in the the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing by CHIBE Postdoctoral Fellow Eric VanEpps and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University, involving online workplace lunch orders, found that each of three types of calorie labeling conditions – numbers alone, traffic lights alone, or both labels together – reduced calories ordered by about 10 percent, compared to orders involving no calorie labels. “The similar effects of traffic light and numeric labeling suggests to us that consumers are making decisions based more on which choices seem healthier than on absolute calorie numbers,” VanEpps said.


Calorie Guidelines and Menu Labelling

Source: CBS News, July 19, 2013

CBS News covered a story about a recently published study in the American Journal of Public Health. The study, led by Julie Downs, supplemented menu labelling with calorie intake recommendations and found that people who were given the calorie guidelines ate an average of 49 more calories more than those who did not receive the guidelines. Downs commented that "the bigger issue is that asking people to do math three times a day every day of their lives is a lot," She also added "because it's not like we make a decision about what to eat just once. It's a lot of decisions. And if you add a cognitive [mental] burden on top of that it's a lot to ask."

Tags: Julie Downs

Calorie Labeling Legislation May Not Prove Effective at Tackling Obesity

Source:  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 29, 2009

According to George Loewenstein, Julie Downs and graduate student Jessica Wisdom at Carnegie Mellon University, part of the problem is that it is much easier to overeat than to eat well. Changes need to occur to make eating well easier and cheaper. When eating healthy is easier and eating unhealthy is harder, then people will choose the healthier foods.