Obesity and Responsiveness to Food Marketing Before and After Bariatric Surgery

INSEAD Working Paper No. 2021/01/MKT

Forthcoming, Journal of Consumer Psychology

41 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2021 Last revised: 1 Mar 2021

See all articles by Yann Cornil

Yann Cornil

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Division of Marketing

Hilke Plassmann

INSEAD

Judith Aron-Wisnewsky

Sorbonne University

Christine Poitou-Bernert

Sorbonne University

Karine Clément

Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital

Michele Chabert

Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE)

Pierre Chandon

INSEAD

Date Written: January 20, 2021

Abstract

Although food marketing is often accused of increasing population obesity, the relationship between individual responsiveness to marketing and obesity has yet to be established: Are people with obesity more responsive to food marketing and, if so, is it a stable trait or can it be reversed by bariatric surgery? We studied the responses to three common marketing tactics that frame foods and portions as healthier than they really are in three groups of women: 1) a group of patients with obesity before, three months, and twelve months after bariatric surgery, 2) a control group of lean women, and 3) another control group of women with obesity but not seeking any treatment for their obesity. People with obesity were initially more responsive to food marketing, but bariatric surgery reduced their responsiveness down to the level of lean people. In addition to documenting another potential psychological consequence of bariatric surgery, our study suggests that the higher responsiveness of people with obesity is not a stable individual predisposition and supports the notion of a reciprocal relationship between obesity and sensitivity to environmental influences.

Suggested Citation

Cornil, Yann and Plassmann, Hilke and Aron-Wisnewsky, Judith and Poitou-Bernert, Christine and Clément, Karine and Chabert, Michele and Chandon, Pierre, Obesity and Responsiveness to Food Marketing Before and After Bariatric Surgery (January 20, 2021). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2021/01/MKT, Forthcoming, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3769868

Yann Cornil

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Division of Marketing ( email )

Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.yanncornil.com/

Hilke Plassmann

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

Judith Aron-Wisnewsky

Sorbonne University ( email )

UFR 927, 4 Place Jussieu
Paris, F-75252
France

Christine Poitou-Bernert

Sorbonne University ( email )

UFR 927, 4 Place Jussieu
Paris, F-75252
France

Karine Clément

Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital ( email )

175 Rue du Chevaleret
Paris, 75013
France

Michele Chabert

Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE) ( email )

46 rue de Lille
Paris, 75007
France

Pierre Chandon (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

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