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Does a School Fruit and Veggie Program Lead to Healthy Eating Habits?

New AAEA member research released in AEPP

The School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme (SFVS), a European Union-wide scheme, was launched in 2009. This scheme is to provide schoolchildren with fruit and vegetables to help encourage healthy habits. New research released in the Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy (AEPP) found that the SFVS raised children’s self-reported fruit and vegetable consumption by 30%-50%, but did not increase children’s likelihood of choosing a healthier over a less healthy but more hedonic snack in a specific situation.

The article “Preferences Versus the Environment: How Do School Fruit and Vegetable Programs Affect Children’s Fresh Produce Consumption,” was authored by two AAEA members, Matthias Staudigel and Jutta Roosen from Technical University of Munich. They found that the SFVS affects children's FV consumption positively as long as children are exposed to FV at school and experience a favorable FV environment at home.

“The results for revealed preferences elicited by the choice experiment, however, suggest no effect or even a counter effect of the SFVS on children's underlying preferences. Since this is the first study to incorporate a choice experiment in the assessment of a school-based intervention, more research is needed to replicate these results and confirm or refute them. The study's apparently contradictory findings call for additional, more objective measures of children’s habits and underlying preferences, instead of simply self-reporting,” says Staudigel.

The article is open to the public for a limited time. If you are interested in setting up an interview with Staudigel, please contact Allison Scheetz in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Scheetz
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190