The Backdoor to Overconsumption: The Effect of Associating 'Light' Food with Health

21 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2006

See all articles by Kelly Geyskens

Kelly Geyskens

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Department of Applied Economics

Mario Pandelaere

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - School for Mass Communication Research

Siegfried Dewitte

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB)

Luk Warlop

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB); BI Norwegian Business School

Date Written: December 2004

Abstract

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

Geyskens, Kelly and Pandelaere, Mario and Dewitte, Siegfried and Warlop, Luk, The Backdoor to Overconsumption: The Effect of Associating 'Light' Food with Health (December 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=875291 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.875291

Kelly Geyskens (Contact Author)

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - Department of Applied Economics ( email )

Leuven, B-3000
Belgium
+32 16 32 69 53 (Phone)
+32 16 32 67 32 (Fax)

Mario Pandelaere

Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) - School for Mass Communication Research ( email )

Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Siegfried Dewitte

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Luk Warlop

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

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