The USDA is spending about $2 million of taxpayer money to open a research center to attempt to find a way to get all Americans to eat a more healthy diet. The United States Department of Agriculture is in the process of accepting applications for grants to establish the Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research. One of the primary tasks for the new federal government division will be to “break up combo meals” at fast food chains in order to nudge customers away from unhealthy foods.
Excerpt from the USDA Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research grant announcement:
“The USDA Center will facilitate new and innovative research on the application of behavioral economics theory to healthy food choice behaviors that would contribute to enhancing the nutrition, food security, and health of American consumers. With a total outlay of $108.9 billion in FY 2013, food and nutrition assistance accounted for 72 percent of USDA’s budget. Approximately 1 in 4 Americans participated in at least 1 of the 15 food and nutrition assistance programs at some point during FY 2013, making these programs fundamental to the nutritional well-being of millions of Americans. These diverse activities share the common goal of improving nutrition, food security, and health of American consumers.”