When we go a sporting event, chances are we’re going to visit the concession stand during the game. The lines may be long and the prices exorbitant, but we still get in the queue for one thing: The food. And let’s be honest, no one goes to a sporting event concession stand to eat a salad. And while the options we have at these events generally don’t lead to healthy food choices, a recent study may show that a revamped concession stand menu may not only help people’s diets, but overall profits as well.
The University of Iowa and Cornell University joined a booster organization to perform a study to see what happens when healthier options were made available to people that attended sporting events at Muscatine High School in Muscatine, Iowa, for two fall sports seasons one year apart. The results? “We found that an average of 77 percent of students purchased healthier foods when they were available and that revenue also increased when a variety of healthy items were available,” says study co-author Brian Wansink, PhD, Professor and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.
Whether the students thought adding healthy options was important or not, an overwhelming majority — 77.5 percent — purchased at least one
healthy item from the concession stand at some point in the school year. Although the study has a small sample size and is focused on one school and their students, the findings may open to the door to adding healthier items at large scale sporting events.
Millions of people go through the turnstile annually to see their favorite team or player perform, and many of them will purchase items at the concession stands. There is no guarantee that they will purchase a healthy option when looking at the menu, but studies like this suggest that just making the healthy options available could lead to better choices made by the consumer. The fact that the study also showed an increase in sales (9.2 percent of total sales went to healthier items) indicates that the healthier choices also could help overall profits. That’s big business when you’re looking at a sold out football stadium.
Until healthier choices become more readily available at these events, you can still take action to stay on track and maintain a good diet. For example, bring a small snack
of your own. A simple plan like this helps to develop good habits and reinforces avoiding bad
ones that could result in unwanted weight gain or stalled progress with your diet. If you’d like to start your own weight loss journey and learn how to make better health decisions, fill out our brief Find a Clinic
form and we will find a weight management program near you! In the meantime, game on!Source: Cornell Food & Brand LabBlog written by Marcus Miller/Robard Corporation