Soda versus Cereal and Sugar versus Fat: Drivers of Healthful Food Intake and the Impact of Diabetes Diagnosis
Journal of Marketing, 2013
Posted: 23 Feb 2013
Date Written: February 22, 2013
This study examines how household members' personal characteristics and key marketing factors affect the healthfulness of food purchased for in-home consumption; it further considers how food intake changes following a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes in the household. Using a combination of grocery purchase over four years, survey data about health status, and the nutrition content of 13 of the largest packaged food categories, this study shows that households with higher education and nutrition interest consume fewer calories, sugar, and total carbohydrates, whereas those with higher self-control consume more, because they offset their lower intake of 'unhealthy' categories (e.g., soft drinks) with higher intake of 'healthy' categories (e.g., cereal). The consumption of sugar and carbohydrates decreases significantly in response to a diabetes diagnosis, whereas the intake of fat and sodium increases. Education, nutrition interest, and self-control are not associated with healthier changes in response to a diagnosis, but younger and higher income households, as well as those in which the diabetes patient is female, make healthier changes. These findings have notable implications for marketers, consumers, consumer researchers, and public health professionals.
Keywords: health status, drivers of food choice, health halo bias, diabetes, self-control, household grocery shopping
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