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NZ: Study proves benefit of price discounts on healthy foods

Price discounts are more effective than nutrition education in encouraging people to buy healthier foods, according to New Zealand research.

The Supermarket Health Options Project (SHOP) study tracked the food purchases of over 1000 shoppers at eight Pak’ N Save supermarkets in the lower North Island. Half of the shoppers received price discounts of 12.5 percent on healthier foods for six months, and half received intensive, personalised nutrition education over the same time period, including tailored shopping lists, recipes and advice.

Price discounts resulted in an 11 percent increase in the amount of healthier food purchased, with two thirds of the increase attributed to fruit and vegetables. In contrast, no change in the purchase of healthier food was found for shoppers receiving nutrition education alone.

Writing in the New Zealand Herald, Martin Johnson noted that the study provides support for the Māori Party push to exempt healthy foods from GST.

Read the article : American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Mar 2010 (PDF)

Read more: Media release, Auckland University/Voxy, 3 Mar 2010

Read more: NZ Herald, 4 Mar 2010

Published on March 3, 2010 in New Zealand news