This is a rush transcript from "Your World," December 18, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: All right, now to the government's push to get kids to eat healthier. There's a problem.
Out of $5.4 million being spent on fresh fruits and vegetables each day in our schools, about two-thirds of it winds up in the trash each day. Now a new study published in The Journal of Human Resources finds that giving kids a small reward, a financial reward, increases fruit and veggie consumption by 80 percent and cuts waste 33 percent.
How big is the bribe? Anywhere from a nickel to a quarter to eat each portion.
So, should we be paying kids to eat healthier?
Mom Stefanie Weiss thinks it's a good idea. Mom Lyss Stern says it's ridiculous. We really do have two opposing points of view, I do believe.
VARNEY: OK. Lyss, what's wrong with a little financial encouragement, if that's what it takes to make the kids eat some vegetables?
LYSS STERN, FOUNDER, DIVALYSSCIOUS MOMS: OK.
What I think is wrong with a little financial investment towards these children to eat their fruits and vegetables is that it is wrong. That's bribery.
STERN: And what I think the problem is that it should start at home. Parents should feed children healthy foods and vegetables and start that way when they're a young age, so that when they get to a certain age, they will enjoy fruits and vegetables and that is what they will want.
VARNEY: OK. OK. Look, I know kids. They, no, I'm not eating brussels sprouts. I'm not eating it.
STERN: That's fine. There are plenty of other vegetables out there.
VARNEY: And if you offer them a nickel or -- no, a dollar, you offer them a dollar, eat that sprout, most of them would. And I think that's good.
STERN: OK. That's great.
VARNEY: Am I such a terrible parent?
STERN: That's fine. And that's your opinion. But I believe the schools should not be paying the children to eat their fruits and vegetables.
I also don't think it's setting a good precedent. Are we going to pay our children to go to school? Are we going to pay our children to get good grades? Is this where we're going?
VARNEY: Stefanie, you have no problem with this?
STEFANIE WEISS, FOUNDER, ASK STEFANIE: OK.
We're going to -- OK. So let's be honest. OK? I'm a mom. I have three kids. And let me tell you, I always say to my husband, they can be bought. And it is true.
(CROSSTALK) VARNEY: Yes. Yes.
WEISS: I think this study -- we agree?
WEISS: This study is fascinating.
What I think you -- what -- what could be done is that it could be the money could go to a really cool thing for the school. Maybe they can put it toward a concert for the school with a celebrity.
WEISS: Or maybe it could be put towards donating a swing set for the school and put to good use.
But the bottom, bottom line is, kids can be bought. Right? Bribery works. It does.
(CROSSTALK) VARNEY: OK, because forget the schools for a second. Let's talk about individual parents like the three of us, for example.
VARNEY: You don't think there's anything wrong with me as a parent saying, eat the brussel and you get a buck?
WEISS: Not if you're doing a test with your child.
I have done it in my own home. I will turn to my husband. My son has a test on Friday. He's watching.
WEISS: And I will say, OK, study and if -- I'm telling you if you get over a 90 or you get an 80 or above, I'm telling you, you're going to get whatever. You're getting to go out for dinner with us or you're going to get a special prize.
WEISS: I am telling you, I know my child. Done. He will be like, I will see you Friday.
STERN: But that's a parent's individual choice.
STERN: And if a parent wants to bribe at home, go for it. I have no problem with that. But what I do have a problem with is the schools and the government getting involved bribing...
VARNEY: I see the point.
WEISS: It's an interesting study, though.
And that's what I think is interesting, is that it's a study. And they found is, look at the results
VARNEY: It works.
WEISS: It was unbelievable.
VARNEY: It works.
WEISS: That's what is crazy. Like, so there's something behind it and like what are we going to do with that information? It worked. That's what is interesting.
VARNEY: Lyss, I want your moral judgment on me.
VARNEY: Am I a bad parent if, in the past, the distant past, I did indeed offer a financial bribe to young children to eat?
WEISS: Genius. Genius.
STERN: I think that is fine because that's what you chose to do.
However, again, going back to the schools and the government, I want them to stay out. I don't want them paying the children to eat their fruits and veggies.
VARNEY: I'm running out of time, but I'm really into this one.
VARNEY: Is it OK to bribe teenagers not to eat junk and occasionally have fruit?
WEISS: Of course.
VARNEY: That's OK?
WEISS: I love it. It's genius.
STERN: Not in schools. Not in schools.
Guys, I disagree. I don't think it should be done in school with money. That's my own opinion.
VARNEY: I'm just a bad parent.
WEISS: I think it could be used for a good cause.
WEISS: That could be -- that could be the intermediary. Right? Like, a good thing for the school.
VARNEY: All right, ladies, thank you very much indeed.
VARNEY: We clearly disagree on this one.
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