Nutrition Claims, Anticipated Guilt, and Consumption Quantity

Brian Wansink, Cornell University, USA
Pierre Chandon, INSEAD, France
We develop and test a framework that contends that “low fat” nutrition labels increase food intake by 1) increasing perceptions of the appropriate serving size, and 2) decreasing anticipated consumption guilt. Three studies show that “low fat” labels lead all consumers—particularly those who are overweight—to overeat hedonic and utilitarian snack foods. Furthermore, salient objective serving size information (e.g., “servings per container: 2”) only reduces overeating among guilt-prone normal weight consumers, not among overweight consumers. This helps explain why the influence of relative nutrition claims differ according to the factors associated with guilt, such as whether an individual has a normal weight or whether the food is hedonic.
[ to cite ]:
Brian Wansink and Pierre Chandon (2007) ,"Nutrition Claims, Anticipated Guilt, and Consumption Quantity", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 84-85.