When Healthy Food Makes You Hungry [dataset]

Stacey R. Finkelstein, Ayelet Fishbach
2008 PsycEXTRA Dataset   unpublished
Do subtle cues for imposed healthy eating make consumers hungry? Imposed healthy eating signals that the health goal was sufficiently met, and thus it increases the strength of the conflicting motive to fulfill one's appetite. Accordingly, consumers asked to sample an item framed as healthy later reported being hungrier and consumed more food than those who sampled the same item framed as tasty or those who did not eat at all. These effects of healthy eating depend on the consumer's perception
more » ... hat healthy eating is mandatory; therefore, only imposed healthy eating made consumers hungrier, whereas freely choosing to eat healthy did not increase hunger. E xternally imposed controls are common and help individuals adhere to their long-term interests. Thus, mandatory retirement savings, seat belt laws, compulsory physical education in college, and cafeterias that offer only healthy alternatives-all are common examples of how external controls help individuals resolve the internal conflict between options that offer larger but delayed benefits and those that offer lesser but immediate benefits. But, when external constraints lead individuals to adhere to their long-term interests, how does this influence the resultant strength of the compromised short-term interest? We explore this question in the domain of imposed healthy eating. We ask, for example, how having a healthy meal in a cafeteria that offers only healthy alternatives influences the motive to satisfy one's appetite. In particular, we examine how imposed healthy eating influences individuals' experienced hunger. We propose that because adherence to the health goal under externally imposed controls signals that progress has been made without also increasing the sense of personal commitment, it can ironically increase the strength of the competing motive to satisfy one's appetite afterward. Put simply, imposed healthy eating would make people feel hungrier than not eating at all or eating the same food without an emphasis on its healthiness. We further propose that this effect of imposed healthy eating is more pronounced among individuals who are less concerned with watching their diet, Stacey Finkelstein (sfinkels@chicagobooth.edu) is a doctoral candidate and Ayelet Fishbach (ayelet.fishbach@chicagobooth.edu) is professor of behavioral science and marketing at
doi:10.1037/e722352011-097 fatcat:5fs2l4yuinblrd5j3a3ym2hxly