The effect of impending consumption of healthy food on snack intake
Koh, Jasmine Bi Qin
Date of Issue2017
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This study aimed to investigate how expectations of eating a healthy dinner affects the consumption of a palatable snack in the present. Priming effect occurs when the healthy behavior (i.e. eating healthy dinner) encourages similar healthy behavior (i.e. eating less high calorie snack), while Compensatory Health Belief (CHB) effect occurs when the healthy behavior encourages unhealthy behavior (i.e. eating more high calorie snack) by serving as a compensatory behavior. Therefore, the study investigated if participants consumed lesser snacks (priming effect) or more snacks (CHB effect) based on the perceived healthiness of the ad-libitum dinner that they expected to consume (which was actually served). The study used a randomized, counter-balanced within-subject design with two conditions (Healthy condition and Control condition) and 21 adults completed each condition on two separate visits. Analyses revealed an effect of condition (p= .014) (after accounting for participant’s body mass index), with participants consuming less snacks (2489±1959 kJ) when they perceived the dinner was healthier (healthy condition) than when they perceived the dinner as a conventional dinner (2810±1990 kJ) (control condition). Analyses also revealed no effect of restrained eating and endorsement of CHB on the participants’ snack intake. Therefore, the study showed that when CHB effect and priming effects predicts opposing results, and the indulgent behavior and compensatory behavior are in the same domain (i.e. eating), priming may be more likely to emerge. Specifically, participants that anticipated a healthier meal later in the day will behave more healthily (i.e. eating less high calorie food) prior to the meal.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University