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The Effect of Calorie Information on Consumers’ Food Choices: Sources of Observed Gender Heterogeneity

Amir Heiman and Oded Lowengart

No 290012, Discussion Papers from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management

Abstract: A lower proportion of females are overweight than is males. Females’ food choices in comparison to those of males reflect the higher importance they attribute to health and physical appearance, more complex attitude toward risk, greater esteem for home-cooked food, and sociological factors. This paper explores the variables that affect consumers’ final food choices, shedding light specifically on the choice process and analyzing whether gender affects predispositions toward foods, perceptions, choice processes, or both. Perceptions and choice processes based on memory judgments serve only as a benchmark used to compare choices made with calorie information. In two experiments wherein subjects were exposed to two forms of calorie information on three fast food items, we show that that differences in perceptions of healthfulness and tastiness of foods account for gender differences in memory-based choices; while calorie information affected both perceptions and choice processes for females, it changed only the perceptions of food for males. We show that differing calorie presentations affected males and females differently

Keywords: Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Labor and Human Capital (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 51
Date: 2010
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:huaedp:290012

DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.290012

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