Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Interplay of Health Claims and Taste Importance on Food Consumption and Self-Reported Satiety

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Appetite 71, 1 (2013) 349-356

Research has shown that subtle health claims used by food marketers influence pre-intake expectations, but no study has examined how they influence individuals’ post-consumption experience of satiety after a complete meal and how this varies according to the value placed on food taste. In two experiments, we assess how labeling a pasta salad as “healthy” or “hearty” influences self-reported satiety, consumption volume, and subsequent consumption of another food. Using MANOVA, Study 1 shows that individuals who report low taste importance consume less—yet feel just as satiated—when a salad is labeled “hearty” rather than “healthy.” In contrast, for individuals with higher taste importance, consumption and self-reported satiety are correlated and are both higher when a salad is labeled as “hearty” versus “healthy.” Study 2 primes taste importance, rather than measuring it, and replicates these findings for consumption, but not for self-reported satiety. There was no effect on the consumption of other foods in either study. Overall, our findings add to earlier work on the impact of health labels by showing that subtle food descriptions also influence post-intake experiences of satiety, but that the direction of the effects depends on taste importance and on the selection of direct or indirect measures of satiety.