Do Diet Foods Make Consumers Heavier? the Effect of Reduced Calorie Packages on the Consumption Behavior of Dieters and Non-Dieters

Maura Scott, Arizona State University
Stephen Nowlis, Arizona State University
Naomi Mandel, Arizona State University
Andrea Morales, Arizona State University
This research examines the moderating role of dieting on the amount of food consumed while eating from either a diet configuration (such as a 100-calorie pack) or a regular configuration. Consistent with research on self-regulation and perception, we find in four studies that dieters consume more calories from a diet configuration than a regular configuration, while non-dieters consume fewer calories from a diet configuration than a regular configuration. Further, we demonstrate that although dieters know they will overeat the diet food, they are unable to prevent the over-consumption without the assistance of external influences.
[ to cite ]:
Maura Scott, Stephen Nowlis, Naomi Mandel, and Andrea Morales (2008) ,"Do Diet Foods Make Consumers Heavier? the Effect of Reduced Calorie Packages on the Consumption Behavior of Dieters and Non-Dieters", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 205-208.