The Backdoor to Overconsumption: The Effect of Associating 'Light' Food with Health
21 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2006
Date Written: December 2004
Marketers present compromise food products (e.g. light chips) as a way to reduce consumers' conflict between the short-term desire of wanting a snack and the long-term goal of a healthy body. Policy makers welcome compromise products as a way to fight the obesity epidemic. Compromise products are typically associated with health. Two experiments and a survey were conducted to explore the effects of health references on the consumed amount of compromise products. Health references appear to increase consumption of compromise products for consumers with relatively weak food restriction goals, such as dietary restrained young women and dietary unrestrained older women. This suggests that associating compromise products with health messages may enhance rather than solve the obesity problem.
Keywords: Health goals, Food consumption, Disinhibition, Cognitive load, Restrained eating
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation