The perceived healthiness of food: If it's healthy you can eat more!

Original broadcast date: May 3, 2009

Food psychologists have a field day with the way advertisers promote their products and the subsequent response from consumers as illustrated in the popular book Mindless Eating by Dr. Brian Wansink of Cornell University.

Weight loss requires a net reduction in calories; a negative balance. Food producers have tapped into this market by providing foods euphemistically labeled as “healthy snacks”.

The study, Perceived healthiness of food. If it’s healthy, you can eat more! published in the April 2009 edition of the Journal Appetite conducted at the University of Toronto Mississauga wanted to assess the effect this marketing has on the consumer’s perception of the quality of the food, the quantity consumed and whether other factors influenced these perceptions.

  • Janet Polivy, Professor, Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto


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