Promoting Healthy Eating Behaviors by Incentivizing Exploration of Healthy Alternatives

Yael Shavit, Yefim Roth, Kinneret Teodorescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Incentive-based intervention programs aimed at promoting healthy eating behaviors usually focus on incentivizing repeating the desired behavior. Unfortunately, even when effective, these interventions are often short-lived and do not lead to a lasting behavioral change. We present a new type of intervention program focused on incentivizing exploration of new healthy alternatives rather than incentivizing repeated healthy behaviors. This intervention aims to help participants find long-lasting “personal treasures” —new foods that are both healthy and tasty for them. Our field study included a final sample of 48 students with low or medium daily consumption of fresh salads. Participants in the control group received a fixed payment for completing the program, while the participants in the incentivized exploration group received a lower fixed fee for completing the task and a bonus for each new salad they tried. Results show that participants in the incentivized exploration group reported eating more salads even 1 year after the program ended compared to the participants in the control group. Though preliminary, our results paint a promising picture for the successful application of incentivizing exploration interventions to promote healthy lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number658793
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Shavit, Roth and Teodorescu.


  • behavioral change
  • decisions from experience
  • diet
  • eating behavior
  • exploration
  • healthy lifestyle
  • salads
  • underweighting of rare events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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