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Calorie information effects on consumers' food choices: Sources of observed gender heterogeneity

Amir Heiman and Oded Lowengart

Journal of Business Research, 2014, vol. 67, issue 5, 964-973

Abstract: A larger portion of males is overweight than is females. Females' food choices in comparison to those of males reflect the greater importance that females attribute to health and physical appearance; their more complex attitude toward risk; the greater esteem in which they hold home-cooked food; and sociological factors. This paper explores the variables that affect consumers' food choices, shedding light specifically on the choice process and analyzing whether gender affects predispositions toward foods, perceptions, choice processes, or all three. Perceptions and choice processes based on memory judgments serve only as a benchmark used to compare choices consumers make under calorie information. The results of two experiments wherein the researchers exposed subjects to two forms of calorie information on three fast food items suggest that differences in perceptions of foods' healthfulness and taste aspects account for gender differences in memory-based choices. In addition to this baseline difference in perceptions, a gender difference in reaction to calorie information in terms of consumers' behavior exists. While calorie information affected both perceptions and choice processes for females, information changed the perceptions of food only for males.

Keywords: Gender; Negative information; Choice process; Health hazards; Calorie information; Risk multi-attribute; Importance weights (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.08.002

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