Friday, April 4, 2014

Slim by Design or by Willpower? Replies to Herman and Polivy and to Roberto, Pomeranz, and Fisher

Read the working paper
INSEAD Working Paper 2014/28/MKT

In their commentary of our “Slim by Design” article, Herman and Polivy offer a simple and powerful model of food intake which focuses on the mediating role of hunger, taste, and appropriateness. In their commentary, Roberto, Pomeranz, and Fisher review both new and classic interventions aimed at reducing obesity and raise the issue of whether they can be scalable and sustainable without regulatory oversight. In this rejoinder, we examine the few differences between the Chandon & Wansink and the Herman & Polivy frameworks to highlight critical areas for future research, including focusing on overeating vs. intake, refining the role of normative drivers, and studying lay theories of overeating. We then resolve the questions raised by Roberto, Pomeranz, and Fisher by providing concrete examples of low-cost design changes that are scalable and sustainable because they benefit both healthy eating and the overall sales and profitability of school and workplace cafeterias.