Researchers Try Paying Kids To Eat Their Veggies

University researchers at Brigham Young and Cornell experimented paying kids to consume vegetables. When paid, veggie consumption went up. When payments stopped, so did eating veggies.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Our Last Word In Business presents a somewhat crass approach to getting kids to eat healthy.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You say this: Eat your vegetables - there's money in it for you!

GREENE: Researchers, teachers, parents have tried everything to get kids to eat their vegetables - pile their plates, give tons of options. Nothing seems to work.

INSKEEP: Researchers at Brigham Young and Cornell universities have come up with a last-ditch effort: Just pay the kids.

GREENE: In the experiment, kids at some schools got a nickel for eating up those greens; others got a quarter or a raffle ticket.

INSKEEP: Veggie consumption went up 80 percent.

GREENE: Wow.

INSKEEP: But the incentive did not seem to change kids' desires or habits. As soon as the payments stopped, vegetable eating stopped, too. Hey, it's a market.

That's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

GREENE: And I'm David Greene.

INSKEEP: I'll pay you a nickel to say that.

GREENE: That'd be great.

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