People are afraid of negative evaluations and choose healthier food together with outsiders

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People from different social groups choose healthier food options because they are afraid of being judged negatively for their choices.

A new study published in Psychology and marketing and Bayes, co-authored with the School of Business, found that people from different friendships or social participation groups play a role in influencing consumers ’food choices.

A study of the food choices of other races and other races explains this because people expect negative university decisions from the courts. A study of about 1,000 people found that people were more likely to categorize themselves according to race, university, or occupation.

Experiments with several hundred adults in a major U.S. city and university have shown that participants choose a healthy snack in the presence of a different race (opposite the same race) or an observer associated with another university (against). to his university). This is because they expected more negative conclusions from the outside, so they tried to mitigate these judgments by choosing healthy foods.

Four separate experiments supported the authors ‘view that the presence of a stranger in another social group (compared to a stranger in their own group, such as their own university) influenced participants’ food choices.

In one experiment, 180 students were offered a choice between light meals and healthy raisins. In the presence of an unknown student at their university, only 12% of students chose healthy raisins. However, in the presence of an unknown student from another university, this number doubled to 31%.

Other experiments have shown that the reason for this pattern is that people feel that they are being judged more by group members, and that they strategically use healthy food choices to make a positive impact to counteract this negative feedback. For example, 200 consumers were told that those around them were critical or tolerant. In the judiciary, consumers are more likely to choose carrots than cookies in a tolerant environment, indicating that the expected decision of others will explain the results.

Last month, the Health Alliance for Sugar and Obesity called on the British government to address differences in sugar content and the size of portions of popular snacks. Despite many efforts to help consumers make healthier choices, consumers are often struggling to eat healthier. This study identifies that one way to promote healthy eating may be to promote the social benefits of healthy choices.

Dr. Janina Steinmetz, associate professor of Bayes Marketing (Reader), said the findings are of practical importance to healthy food vendors and politicians hoping to promote healthy eating:

“We know that food plays an important role in public life, and consumers often draw conclusions about the qualities and characteristics of others based on their food choices.

“Our research shows that if we can use this important role of food for the benefit of consumers, we can not only be good for healthy consumers, but also help them to impress others. These findings can be very important for those who hope to improve nutrition.” .Practices in the UK, because they open up a new way to promote the benefits of a healthy diet: it’s good for you and your health, and it’s good for making a positive impact. ”


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More information:
Maferima Touré-Tillery et al, Feeling convicted? How does the presence of external team members help you choose healthy foods? Psychology and marketing (2022). DOI: 10.1002 / March.21667

Presented by the City University of London

Quote: People are afraid of negative evaluations and choose healthy food with outsiders (May 12, 2022) May 14, 2022 https://phys.org/news/2022-05-people-healthier-food- derived from outsiders-negatively.html.

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