A while back a manufacturing company wanted me to redesign their lunchroom so their employees could mindlessly eat better without realizing it (or rebelling). After we had finished our walk-through and questions, the President said, “I know, I know, we should get rid of all our vending machines.”
Absolutely not. If a company wanted revolt on their hands, they would get rid of vending machines. We all want to know we have choice, even if we don’t make the choice.
What I suggested is that they take a number of the vending machines and offer some healthier options. For the rest of the machines, they can keep all of the tempting, chocolately goodies, but move them to corners of the factory floor that make them less accessible. People can still have them, but they have to want them bad enough to walk 200 yards instead of 30 yards. That’s just enoughfor them to pause and ask if that’s wantthey really want.
Try this at work. You can still buy what you want from a vending machine or a snack bar, but you have to use the one that’s furthest from your office. Maybe even in a next building.
For 30 years my Lab and I have focused on discovering secret answers to help people live better lives. Some of these relate to health and happiness (and often to food). Please share whatever you find useful.
This video of one of my post-docs gives a flavor of one type of research that we've done: