Scientists Trick Americans Into Eating Right

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fattest in the store? In an attempt to beat large food companies in manipulating consumer behavior, social scientists have come up with a few tricks of their own to get Americans to buy more fruits and vegetables. In one store, they hooked up a mirror to the front of the shopping cart, to remind shoppers that they might want to cut down on processed foods. Other tricks involve putting arrows on the floors in the direction of produce, and fliers prompting shoppers to place fruits and veggies in the front of the cart. In one test store in Virginia, produce sales per customer more than doubled from $3.99 to $8.55. And the grocery stores aren’t complaining—produce tends to be highly profitable.