Date of Graduation

5-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural Economics (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Advisor

Di Fang

Committee Member

Rodolfo M. Nayga Jr.

Second Committee Member

Christine Yung Hung

Keywords

Agriculture Economics, Experimental Economics, Food Choice, Health, Mindfulness, Obesity, Online Experiments

Abstract

The practice of mindfulness has a long history in research, particularly psychological studies. In this paper I examine the effects of a short mindfulness intervention on healthy food purchases. Specifically, I developed an online survey and recruited 634 participants via Prolific between July 24 - July 27, 2020. I randomly assigned participants to either a mindfulness manipulation or a control condition. Following treatment (or control) participants completed a food choice task and various other control. Following the survey, I analyzed data using R version 4.0.2 (2020-06-22) and R-Studio. I estimated three different regression models, ordinary least squares (OLS), Poisson, and Negative Binomial (NB) (Wooldridge, 2006) to analyze the collected data. My findings bridge the gap in the literature of online mindfulness interventions and food purchase behaviors. In particular, I studied the impact of the 5-minute body scan on healthy food choices in a hypothetical grocery shopping experiment. My research suggests that the mindfulness intervention could increase healthy food purchases for the overweight and obese subsample. This is consistent with earlier findings for a similar population in the context of food consumption. Furthermore, my research highlights the importance of nutrition knowledge in promoting healthy food choices.

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