Search
Diabetes News

Archive - 03 - 2009

Full Disclosure: People Will Make Healthier Choices if Restaurants Provide Nutritional Data

Posted by dlife on Tue, Mar 31, 09, 12:18 PM 0 Comment

March 31, 2009 (EurekAlert) - As more and more Americans eat meals outside the home, the country also faces an epidemic of obesity. An association between eating out and weight-related diseases has led to demands for nutritional labeling of restaurant foods. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research examines the potential benefits of such labeling."Using only the sense of taste, smell, and sight to accurately estimate the levels of calories, saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium found in a typical restaurant food serving is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for most consumers," write authors Elizabeth Howlett (University of Arkansas), Scot Burton (Sam M. Walton College of Business), Kenneth Bates (University of San Diego), and Kyle Huggins (James Madison University).The authors set out to examine how providing calorie and nutrient information on restaurant menus and menu boards influences consumers' food-related evaluations and choices. They looked at how participants' prior expectations came into play and whether providing calorie and nutrient information after the consumptive experience changed their subsequent food choices.The researchers found that providing nutritional information can influence subsequent food consumption, especially when consumers' expectations are not fulfilled when they examine the information. "When a 'great taste' claim was used to describe a restaurant menu item, the provision of calorie information did not affect consumers' perceptions, presumably because foods that claim great taste are typically expected to be relatively high in calories," the authors explain. "On the other hand, when a 'low calorie' claim was presented but the menu item was higher in calories than expected, the provision of nutritional information increased the perceived likelihood of 1) gaining weight and 2) developing heart disease."The study shows that nutritional information can help consumers moderate their eating over time. In one study, participants ate a sandwich that they later found was unexpectedly high in calories. After this discovery, the participants consumed fewer snacks throughout the rest of the day.

Learning Curve: Tricks to Resist Temptation

Posted by dlife on Tue, Mar 31, 09, 12:16 PM 0 Comment

March 31, 2009 (EurekAlert) - Here's good news for dieters who face food challenges in the break room every day: A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that our resistance gets a boost after we've just been exposed to similar temptations."The threat of overconsumption is a real one for many of us. It is all too easy to eat or spend too much, and many others struggle with their desire to smoke or to drink alcohol or to take another pain killer," write authors Siegfried Dewitte, Sabrina Bruyneel (both K.U.Leuven), and Kelly Geyskens (Maastricht University, The Netherlands).In the course of their research, the authors found that in situations when self-control is repeatedly tested, a defense strategy that works for a first temptation can be used to tackle the next."In a first study we showed that, consistent with common intuition, people performed worse at a difficult mental game than a control group if they had just attempted to control the content of their thoughts. However, those who had just engaged in a similar difficult mental game performed better than a control group," the authors write.In a second study, the authors exposed participants to candies, which they were not supposed to eat. "Being exposed to candies without eating them indeed led to worse performance on a subsequent self-regulation task, but it also led to better regulation of candy consumption in a follow-up situation," the authors explain.A third study exposed participants to a series of consumption choices. In each set of choices, there was one option that required more self-control than the other. For example, some participants had to choose between waiting two weeks for a discounted video game versus purchasing one at full price immediately. After the series of choices, they engaged in a final set of choices that were either different or similar to their previous ones."It turned out that participants became better at self-regulating their choices if they had been exposed to similar options before," the authors write. "Together these studies demonstrate that although our resistance to temptation indeed wears out when we receive a series of different temptations, as common wisdom has it, our resistance gets a boost when we have just been exposed to a similar temptation."

Sign up for FREE dLife Newsletters

dLife Membership is FREE! Get exclusive access, free recipes, newsletters, savings, and much more! FPO

Congratulations!
You are subscribed!
Congratulations!
You are subscribed!
Congratulations!
You are subscribed!
Sponsor Specials

dLife Weekly Poll

Have you developed any complications yet as a result of your diabetes?