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Would You Hold the Mayo If the Receipt Suggested It?

Health, Psychology, calories, food

Here is a famous finding from social psychology. If you want to encourage people to get vaccinated against some disease, it helps to educate them about the benefits of vaccination. But you’ll have a much bigger impact if you give people a map, showing them exactly where to go to get a shot.

Elementary though it is, this finding is important, because it demonstrates that when people don’t respond to a suggestion, it may be because they need some help in identifying the specific steps they are being asked to take. People pay a lot more attention if they are given something like a map.

In its efforts to promote healthy eating, SmartReceipt Inc. is taking this idea seriously. The company’s Nutricate receipt provides people with the standard information about the meal they just bought, but with a few significant twists. The receipt contains a panel with personalized information about the total calories, fats, carbohydrates and protein in the particular foods customers chose.

You also receive some simple “Did you know?” messages, specifically tailored to your own choices. You might read, “Holding the mayo on your sandwich will save you 150 calories and 10 grams of fat,” or “Low-fat milk is a great source of calcium, and you just had over 35 percent of your daily calcium requirement.”

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