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Meet our Grantees!

Through its Small Grants program the BEN Center seeks to support research involving the application of behavioral economics principles to child nutrition programs, with particular emphasis on the National School Lunch Program. As of spring 2017, the BEN Center has funded 31 projects of which 21 have been completed and 10 are ongoing.

Meet some of the BEN Center grantees and learn about their projects below!


Completed Projects

Principal Investigator Organization Project Information Funding
Alice Ammerman
Co-PI: Tosha Smith
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Title:
Taste Texting: A Pre-Order System for Fresh and Healthy High School Lunch
Key Findings
Publications
Project logo
$40,000
Christopher Gustafson University of Nebraska Title:
Participatory vs. Non-Participatory Marketing of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
Key Findings
Publications
$33,000*
Deana Hildebrand Oklahoma State University Title:
Broadening Use of Choice Architecture Strategies in Middle-school Nutrition Settings and Understanding the Extent to which Use of Strategies Impact Middle-school Students Selection of Fruits and Vegetables
Key Findings
Publications
$39,997
Helen Jensen Iowa State University Title:
Building Healthy Habits in Social Networks: Making Fruits and Vegetables a Popular Choice during the School Lunch
Key Findings
$19,999
John List
Co-PI: Anya Samek
University of Chicago Title:
Using Behavioral Economics to Improve Child Food Choice: The Impact of Informational Signals
Key Findings
Publications
$39,992
Conrad P. Lyford
Co-PI: Janani Thapa
Texas Tech University Title:
Fun in the Lunchroom: A Nudge to Develop Healthy Taste Buds
Key Findings
Publications
$30,000
Anna McAlister Michigan State University Title:
Salience and Understanding of School Lunch Interventions Involving Pre-Commitment to Purchase Decisions
Key Findings
Publications
Project Stimuli

$14,216
Christiane Schroeter California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Title:
An Incentive-Based Health Program using MyPlate: A Pilot Study Analyzing College Students’ Dietary Intake Behavior
Key Findings
Presentations
$9,999
Elena Serrano Virginia Polytech Institute Title:
The Effect of School Cafeteria Noise on Student Food Consumption
Key Findings
$19,996
Karla Shelnutt University of Florida Title:
Main Dish Items Served with Incorporated Vegetables and Vegetable Consumption in School Lunch Programs
Key Findings
Publications
$39,958
Zata Vickers University of Minnesota Title:
Serving Vegetables First as a Strategy for Increasing Vegetable Consumption in an Elementary School Cafeteria
Key Findings
Publications
$15,000
Nancy Wells
Co-PI: Kim Rollings
Cornell University Title:
Cafeteria Assessment for Elementary Schools (CAFES)
Key Findings
Publications
Presentations
Project Picture
$23,750
Sara Williamson City University of New York – Baruch College Title:
Lunchroom Food Waste
Key Findings
Publications
$14,000

Ongoing Projects

Principal Investigator Organization Project Information Funding
Ameena Batada University of North Carolina Asheville Title:
Fresh Foods First
Project Progress
$13.536
Dipayan Biswas The University of South Florida Title:
Using Olfactory Cues to Nudge Schoolchildren towards More Healthful Food Choices
Key Findings
$22,051
Carmen Byker Montana State University Title:
Improving Fruit and Vegetable Selection in High School Lunches through Student Involvement in Smarter Lunchroom Design
Project Progress
Presentations
Upcoming Presentations
Project Pictures
$41,613
Dipti Dev University of Nebraska Title:
An Ecological Approach to Family Style Dining: Encouraging Healthier Food Choices in Preschoolers in Childcare
Project Progress
*See Gustafson
Andrew Hanks Ohio State University Title:
Measuring the Long Term Impact of Behavioral Interventions in School Cafeterias
Key Findings
$32,745
Jane Kolodinsky University of Vermont Title:
Sampling Tomorrows Lunch Today: Using Behavioral Economics to Assess the Efficacy of a Farm to School Programming Element “Taste Tests”
Key Findings
Presentations
Project Pictures
$31,173
Jaclyn Kropp
Co-PI: Sonam Gupta
University of Florida Title:
The Effect of Informational Nudging on Pre-Ordered Food Choices of Middle School National School Lunch Program Participants
Project Progress
$12,239
Marietta Orlowski Wright State University Title:
Dress Your Dog – A Vegetable Topping Project
Key Findings
Publications
Project Pictures
$36,057
Janani Thapa University of Georgia Title:
Lunchroom Table Talkers Talk School Students into Eating Fruits and Vegetables
Key Findings
Publications
$41,729
Mallory Vestal West Texas A&M University Title:
The Impact a “Traffic Light” Labeling System has on Decisions made by Adolescents
Key Findings
Publications
Project Pictures
$15,962