Kids aren’t the only ones who can be bribed to eat their broccoli. Adults will also consume more fruits and vegetables if given a cash incentive to do so. That’s according to research hailing from the University of Colorado Boulder.
In the study, 128 people were instructed to keep track of both their stress levels and their fruit and vegetable consumption for 21 days. One group received a $1 reward per serving of healthy food, and the other was gifted nothing. The results were pretty clear: Although periods of stress resulted in a drop in fruit and vegetable intake across the board, individuals who received a monetary incentive were more likely to maintain their healthy eating habits.
The real payoff? While using bribes to get people to change their dietary preferences is often frowned upon, rewards can be powerful if the activity creates a long-term adjustment in health behavior for the better. Community health programs geared at improving dietary habits in the population may want to explore various cash incentives to encourage better success. Discounted training sessions for people who achieve five a day?