Optimising Healthy eating - A Google case study

Google is known for providing great food for free to its employees. In this HBR article, How Google Optimized Healthy Office Snacks, it talks about how subtle changes can promote Healthy eating. A few examples cited in the story are

  • Distance from Beverage station to snack bar makes a difference. It was observed that people tend to pick up a snack along with a beverage. The closer the snack station, the more likely people were to pick up a snack along with a beverage. Increasing the distance between the beverage station and snack station resulted in reduced consumption of snacks thus resulting in lower calorie consumption
  • Promoting unpopular healthy food next to the food helps. It was perceived that advertising healthy foods like Beetroot, cauliflower etc wouldn't get people to eat more. However, it was found that putting up posters right next to the dish with pictures and trivia increased the consumption of these foods.
  • Size of the bowl matters. M&M is very popular in Google and were made available through self serve bins with 4 ounce cups. Most People tended to fill the cups. The loose M&Ms were then replaced with small packages. This simple intervention reduced the average serving by 58%, from 308 calories to 130.


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