Health Incentives

There are good reasons why fast food restaurants proliferate in the poorest neighborhoods.

Sturm and Yach noted that they’ve found no evidence yet to suggest that these changes in behavior have translated to reduced obesity, although they were encouraged by the evidence that suggests a financial incentive can prod people to alter their diets.

In the U.S., we are beginning to see health insurance companies working with employers to craft incentives for employees to follow healthier lifestyles. However, most of these programs deal with non-diet efforts: smoking cessation and stress relief classes, gym membership subsidies and the like. I am not aware of any efforts similar to what is happening in South Africa to encourage Americans to buy healthier foods. 

The fundamental problem in the U.S., when it comes to any movement, is that it so often happens in a piecemeal fashion, on a grass-roots level. For example, some but not all insurance companies offer potential life-altering programs, and the programs being offered often target select groups, such as smokers.

When it comes to diet, many colleges and a growing number of hospitals offer nutrition education and/or incentives to eat more healthfully. But again, not enough of them do and the audiences are limited: college students, faculty and staff, hospital staff and visitors. Some chain restaurants are beginning to offer healthier menu options, but the effort isn’t particularly strong or universal yet. 

In short, there are a lot of good efforts being put forth here and abroad to try to curb obesity. But until we find a way to connect the dots and link all these efforts into a cohesive plan, studies like Sturm and Yach’s will continue to show progress without revealing any light signifying an end to this tunnel.

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
chili flakes and peppers spicy hot

From Catallia.

When planning your menus, take note: college and university students think spicy is hot.

Fifty-seven percent of consumers age 18-34 find spicy flavors, “extremely appealing,” according to Technomic. And almost 50% of college students surveyed said they would like their schools to offer more ethnic foods and beverages, states a recent Technomic College & University Consumer Trend Report. Translation: they like their food kicked up a notch!

More Options than Ever

“Students of today are all about flavor,” says Steve Mangan, director of dining for...

Industry News & Opinion

Sodexo is partnering with celebrity chef Robert Irvine in an attempt to provide military communities with healthier meals.

The 10-year partnership will allow Sodexo to access chef Irvine’s knowledge of nutrition and fitness in its aim to benefit the quality of life for military members, the vendor said in a news release.

Sodexo hopes that Irvine’s popularity as the host of Food Network’s "Restaurant: Impossible" will draw attention to its commitment to nutrition, health and well being. Irvine also has a military history himself—before embarking on his culinary career, he...

Industry News & Opinion

The cafeteria at the Smithsonian's new National Museum for African American History and Culture is intended to be an extension of the museum, showcasing stations that offer cuisines from different geographic locations such as the Creole coast and agricultural South, Time reports .

The eatery, Sweet Home Cafe, was set up to highlight the wide range of African-American cuisine, Executive Chef Jerome Grant told Time. When it officially opens later this month, it will serve dishes such as shrimp and grits, pan-roasted oysters and a fried catfish po’boy.

Celebrity chef Carla...

Sponsored Content
Pierce boneless wings

From Pierce Chicken.

Spicy chicken wings have taken off as an iconic American food since their debut at the Anchor Bar Restaurant in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1964. They reached a new milestone during Super Bowl 50 weekend in February, when more than 1.3 billion wings were consumed, according to the National Chicken Council.

The emergence of boneless wings—breaded, boneless chunks of chicken breast with zesty flavors—has made a good thing even better. In fact, research shows that boneless wings complement traditional bone-in wings on restaurant menus, boosting the entire wing...

FSD Resources