Have you ever wondered why most grocery stores – despite the chain – more or less have the same floor plan? Or why candy bars are always available at the cash register? The layout of stores and strategic placement of certain items is the result of a purposeful decision-making progress designed to encourage people to buy more of one thing or another. Often, the items offered for sale tend to have a lower nutritional value – helping to fuel high levels of obesity and diet related disease prevalent in our society today. But what if these strategies and subtle cues that influence all of our decision-making processes were used to promote healthy items instead?

Joining the show today to discuss the possibility of using behavioral economic based interventions to lead food consumers of all ages to healthier diets is Dr. David Just, whose recent paper, titled “Influencing the food choices of SNAP consumers: Lessons from economics, psychology and marketing” was just published in the Journal of Food Policy. Dr. Just is currently a professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. He serves as co-director of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs. David’s work uses the tools of psychology and economics to examine important ways in which misperception and emotion can drive economic decisions.

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