New Study Shows Healthy Food Rebates Positively Impact Shopping Behavior
RAND Corporation and Vitality research finds discount leads to increased
purchases of healthy foods and decrease in junk foods
CHICAGO, March 21, 2013
CHICAGO, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --A new study published in the American
Journal of Preventive Medicine found that rebates on healthy food purchases
cause people to put healthier food in their grocery carts. Led by the
nonprofit research organization the RAND Corporation, the analysis examined
the purchases of more than 170,000 South African households, of which 60
percent participated in Discovery Vitality' s HealthyFood program and were
eligible for a cash-back rebate of up to 25 percent for healthy food
The study found that program participation led to an increased consumption of
fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods and less spending on high sugar,
salty and fried foods, processed meats and fast food. According to the
research, a rebate of 25 percent increased the ratio of healthy to total food
purchased by 9.3 percent, increased the ratio of fruit and vegetables to total
food purchases by 8.5 percent, and decreased the ratio of less-desirable food
to total food purchases by 7.2 percent.
"This paper provides good evidence that lower prices for healthier foods
significantly alter purchasing patterns," said Roland Sturm, a study co-author
and a senior economist at RAND.
Discovery Holding's incentive-based wellness program, Vitality, is offered to
nearly 4 million consumers worldwide. The Vitality Group, based in Chicago,
provides Vitality as a standalone program in the U.S. Vitality is offered in
South Africa and the U.K. through Discovery's health insurance subsidiaries,
Discovery Health and PruHealth.
"While the research results show that diets can be shifted through the use of
incentives, this is only one component of Vitality's program and our efforts
to focus on health promotion and workplace wellness," said Derek Yach, Senior
Vice President, The Vitality Group. "By leveraging the latest in behavioral
economics, clinical and actuarial science, we are working to develop
innovative programs to help people make healthy choices to reduce the impact
and costs of chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes for individuals and
Vitality is a comprehensive health and wellness solution that educates,
assists, and motivates individuals to engage in a broad set of verified
activities with proven outcomes. The program employs sophisticated behavior
change models supported by an actuarially-sound incentive program to achieve
meaningful and measureable health improvement.
About Discovery Holdings
Discovery Holdings (JSE: DSY) is an authorized financial services provider.
Discovery operates in the healthcare and life insurance markets in South
Africa, the United Kingdom and China, as well as the long-term savings and
investment market, and short-term insurance market in South Africa. Vitality,
Discovery's wellness program, is the world's largest scientific,
incentive-based wellness solution. It provides individual and corporate
wellness initiatives in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States
and China. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds 4 million lives.
The company's core purpose is to make people healthier, and to enhance and
protect their lives.
About The Vitality Group
The Vitality Group is a member of Discovery Holdings Limited. Vitality
wellness programs serve more than 4 million members worldwide at companies in
a wide range of sizes and industry categories, improving individuals' health
and wellbeing as well as employers' bottom lines. With a foundation based on
actuarial science and behavioral economic theory, Vitality encourages changes
in lifestyle that reduce healthcare costs, both in the short run and long
term, by rewarding members for addressing their specific health issues.
SOURCE The Vitality Group
Contact: Cary Conway email@example.com +1-972-731-9242
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