Wanna move more fruit? Arrange it in bright bowls, suggests a recent study from Cornell University. Marketers, graphic designers and fashionistas have long understood the crucial role of attractive packaging, but applying these same techniques to lunchrooms and cafeterias could lead to a marked increase in fruit consumption.

Research presented this week at the American Dietetic Association Conference suggests that placing fruit in a colorful bowl and moving it to a prominent position within school cafeterias improved sales by as much 104%.

The research comes from the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs (BEN).

We human beings are charming, funny, stupid creatures, easily attracted (and distracted) by colorful, shiny objects and the lure of the immediate gratification. In short, make fruit look pretty and kids will eat more of it.

No word on whether this technique works with lettuce, lima beans and broccoli, a much harder sell than strawberries and apple slices.

[@elinashatkin / eshatkin@laweekly.com]

LA Weekly