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Economic incentives and nutritional behavior of children in the school setting: a systematic review

Jørgen Dejgård Jensen, Helene Hartmann, Anika de Mul, Albertine Schuit, Johannes Brug,
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2011.00422.x 660-674 First published online: 1 November 2011


The aim of the present review was to examine the existing literature on the effectiveness of economic incentives for producing sound nutritional behavior in schools. Studies published in the English-language literature that included baseline and/or outcome data regarding food and beverage intake of schoolchildren were eligible for inclusion. A systematic search of the literature was conducted to identify relevant primary studies and relevant systematic reviews of primary studies. Altogether, 3,472 research publications were identified in the systematic search, of which 50 papers were retrieved. Of these, 30 publications representing 28 studies fulfilled the criteria for inclusion. The studies addressing price incentives suggest that such incentives are effective for altering consumption in the school setting. Other types of economic incentives have been included in combined intervention schemes, but the inclusion of other intervention elements makes it difficult to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the economic incentive instruments per se in these studies.

  • child behavior
  • economic incentives
  • effectiveness
  • feasibility
  • nutrition
  • school setting
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