Photographs in Lunch Tray Compartments and Vegetable Consumption Among Children in Elementary School Cafeterias | Pediatrics | JAMA | JAMA Network
[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
US Department of Agriculture; US Department of Health and Human Services.  Dietary guidelines for Americans, 2010. Accessed October 25, 2011
Condon EM, Crepinsek MK, Fox MK. School meals: types of foods offered to and consumed by children at lunch and breakfast.  J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(2):(suppl)  S67-S7819166674PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Cialdini RB, Reno RR, Kallgren CA. A focus theory of normative conduct: recycling the concept of norms to reduce littering in public places.  J Pers Soc Psychol. 1990;58(6):1015-1026Google ScholarCrossref
Just DR, Wansink B. Smarter lunchrooms: using behavioral economics to improve meal selection. Accessibility verified January 20, 2012
Blanchette L, Brug J. Determinants of fruit and vegetable consumption among 6-12-year-old children and effective interventions to increase consumption.  J Hum Nutr Diet. 2005;18(6):431-44316351702PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Research Letter
February 22/29, 2012

Photographs in Lunch Tray Compartments and Vegetable Consumption Among Children in Elementary School Cafeterias

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Food Science and Nutrition (Drs Reicks and Vickers), Marketing (Dr Redden), Psychology (Dr Mann) (, and Applied Economics (Dr Mykerezi), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

JAMA. 2012;307(8):784-785. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.170

To the Editor: To increase healthy eating among children, the US government has recommended providing more vegetables in school lunches,1 and schools are attempting to comply.2 Children, however, still consume insufficient amounts of vegetables.2 We attempted to increase vegetable consumption by placing photographs of vegetables in school lunch tray compartments. We expected these photographs to indicate to the children that others typically select and place vegetables in those compartments and that they should do so too.3,4

Vegetable consumption was compared on a control day (February 7, 2011) with an intervention day (May 9, 2011) in an elementary school (kindergarten through fifth grade) of approximately 800 students in Richfield, Minnesota. Approximately 75% of students in this school district are racial or ethnic minorities, and 72% are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. All study procedures were approved by the University of Minnesota institutional review board, which also waived informed consent.