But you can't make him eat better. At least, not very much very fast. After a year of careful labeling, this is what one grocery chain discovered.
After analyzing a year’s worth of sales data, Hannaford found that customers tended to buy leaner cuts of meat. Sales of ground beef with stars on their labels increased 7 percent, and sales of chicken that had a star rating rose 5 percent. Sales of ground beef labeled with no stars dropped by 5 percent, while sales of chicken that had a zero-star rating declined 3 percent.
Similarly, sales of whole milk, which received no stars, declined by 4 percent, while sales of fat-free milk (three stars) increased 1 percent.
Sales of fruits and vegetables, however, remained about the same as they did before the ratings were introduced. All fresh produce received stars. [More]
Of course, that isn't slowing down efforts to attract more at-risk people to healthier eating.
The measure, to be introduced in 2009, will see all expectant mothers given a one-off payment of around GBP120 (US$244) to spend on healthy food when they are seven months pregnant. Sure, some could argue that perhaps seven months is a bit late when trying to boost the nutrition a foetus gets in the womb. And, of course, while there is no compulsion to spend the cash on mangoes, melons or mushrooms, women may spend the money on alcohol and cigarettes instead.
In some quarters, the measure has been derided as a misguided policy from the “nanny state”. However, combined with intensifying health campaigns on the importance of a balanced diet – as well as the dangers of drinking and smoking during pregnancy – the cash may just be the carrot many mothers need to give their kids’ a healthier start in life. [More]
It could be it takes generations to change these choices. After all, it even took very cheap, questionable-benefit food a few decades to take over.