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Dr. David Just - Cornell University

The lunch line offerings at schools across the region could look a little different to students returning to class this week. Under new U.S.D.A. guidelines effective this school year, schools must offer students fruit and vegetable options with every breakfast and lunch served.

Of course, simply offering healthier options doesn’t mean kids will necessarily choose an apple over cookies or other sweets, especially when you consider the millions of dollars spent marketing sugar and calorie laden snacks to children.

A new study from Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, shows that kids are more likely to choose healthier options when the same type of ‘branding’ techniques used by marketers are applied to fruits and veggies.

WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke with Cornell associate professor David Just, director of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs, and a co-author of the study.