Influencing healthy food choices of children in Indonesia

Infographic with key findings
Fruit and chocolate cake
Florin Deperin

A banana or a chocolate cake. In a food choice experiment conducted in Indonesia, children were asked to choose one snack.

Could nudges such as emoji labels improve snack choice? And how do children influence each other’s snacking behavior? Find out in the infographic below!

In Indonesia, 1 in 10 children is overweight and children are increasingly exposed to sugary snacks. The authors conducted a food choice experiment in 18 public primary schools in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Children were asked to choose a snack: either a banana or a chocolate cake. To find out whether nudges can improve snack choice and how children can influence each other’s snacking behaviour, some children saw emoji labels placed next to each snack while others witnessed healthy or unhealthy snacking by their peers (classmates).

To study the interaction of information provision and nudging, some children watched a nutrition video.

Nudging children in Indonesia to choose healthier snacks


The authors found that the negative influence of an unhealthy snacking peer is much larger than the positive effect of emoji labels promoting the choice of a healthy snack and a peer consuming a healthy snack.

Meanwhile, provision of educational information about healthy eating – in order to study the interaction between information provision and nudging - does not aid the positive effects of emoji labels nor does it counter the strong negative influence of unhealthy snack choices of peers.

More on this research

The study was done by researchers from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the University of Indonesia (UI) and Wageningen University (WUR). It received funding from ISS and WUR.  The paper was published in the Journal of Health Economics.

Read the article online - 'Snacks, nudges and asymmetric peer influence: Evidence from food choice experiments in children in Indonesia'

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