Amherst Chamber of CommerceAmherst Chamber of Commerce

Incentivizing people to eat healthier actually works


At a recent American Heart Association's Epidemiology meeting, researchers from the U.K. and Tufts University shared that lowering the price of fruits and vegetables by 30 percent can save nearly 200,000 lives over 15 years. The findings were recently explained in an NPR article.


The article mentioned a second study, Healthy Incentives Pilot, which found that participants who were given a financial incentive to buy fruits and vegetables purchased and ate more than those who did not receive the financial incentive.


Since 2014, Independent Health has been helping its members buy and eat more fruits and vegetables through their innovative nutrition benefit. When members enroll in the nutrition benefit, for every $2 a member spends on fresh fruits and vegetables at Tops Friendly Markets, the member will receive a $1 credit for in-store grocery purchases. Members can earn up to $1,000 on their food purchases each year on a family plan (up to $500 on a single plan). Since fruit and vegetable purchases are tracked right through the Tops BonusPlus® or BonusCard program, it doesn't get much easier to earn reward dollars for purchasing healthy foods.


In the first two years of offering the benefit, Independent Health has paid out nearly $1.3 million to members who have bought fresh fruits and vegetables at Tops Markets through the nutrition benefit.


Offering easier access to healthy eating through this innovative benefit is one of the tools Independent Health offers to help our members become engaged in their health and develop sustainable, healthy, lifestyle behaviors. Read more about the nutrition benefit on our website.








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