FACILITATING OR UNDERMINING? THE EFFECT OF REWARD ON FOOD ACCEPTANCE: A NARRATIVE REVIEW

Using rewards in child feeding is commonplace and viewed as effective by parents, although some express concern about using ‘bribery’. Psychological and economic theorists emphasise the beneficial effects of rewards in enhancing performance, although, there is evidence that the offer of rewards undermines intrinsic motivation and decreases enjoyment of the rewarded task. In the food domain, results have been mixed, but this may be explained, at least partly in terms of the measured outcome (liking vs intake) and the initial level of motivation towards the target foods (liked vs disliked). Where intake is the outcome, rewards have had broadly positive effects, but when it is liking, rewards can have negative effects if the target foodis already liked. Another issue concerns the type of reward offered. While offering food as a reward appear to be universally negative, there is evidence to suggest that non-food tangible rewards (e.g. stickers), or non-tangible rewards (praise) can be highly effective in encouraging children to taste new or less liked foods sufficiently often to benefit from the ‘mere exposure’ effect. They suggest that the judicious use of rewards may facilitate children’s acceptance of healthy foods.

TOPICS
Children
YEAR
Not Available
AUTHORS
Cooke LJ, Chambers LC, Anez EV...
Cooke LJ, Chambers LC, Anez EV, Wardle J
REF
Appetite, Oct;57(2):493-7
Appetite, Oct;57(2):493-7
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666311005150