Increasing Use of a Healthy Food Incentive: A Waiting Room Intervention Among Low-Income Patients

Low-income families were more likely to use their federal food assistance on nutritious food after learning that their dollars can be doubled for more fruits and vegetables, a new study finds. To educate eligible participants, a University of Michigan-led team conducted five-minute conversations in the waiting room of a health clinic. They explained a program called Double Up Food Bucks that matches food assistance dollars spent on fruits and vegetables. This brief interaction prompted increased fruit and vegetable consumption and led to an almost four-fold increase in incentive program use among families. Fruit and vegetable consumption increased among study participants by almost two-thirds of a serving per day – with the greatest increases among those who used Double Up the most. Read findings published in 2017 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.