A clever tweak to how apples are sold is making everyone eat more of them
Specifically, they thought the fact that the apples were being served whole, rather than sliced, was doing the fruits no favor. And they were on to something.
A pilot study conducted at eight schools found that fruit consumption jumped by more than 60 percent when apples were served sliced. And a follow-up study, conducted at six other schools, not only confirmed the finding, but further strengthened it: Both overall apple consumption and the percentage of students who ate more than half of the apple that was served to them were more than 70 percent higher at schools that served sliced apples.
"It sounds simplistic, but even the simplest forms of inconvenience affect consumption," said David Just, a professor of behavioral economics at Cornell who studies consumer food choices, and one of the study's author. "Sliced apples just make a lot more sense for kids."
The hardest part is getting kids to start eating fruit, to take the first bite, and that's precisely what slicing an apple makes more appealing. A child holding a whole apple has to break the skin, eat around the core, and deal with the hassle of holding a large fruit. That barrier might seem silly or superficial, but Just says it's significant when you're missing teeth or have braces, as so many kids do.
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