It Takes Some Effort: How Minimal Physical Effort Reduces Consumption Volume.

Bern University of Applied Sciences, HAFL, Food Science & Management, Laenggasse 85, CH-3052 Zollikofen, Switzerland.; ETH Zurich, Institute for Environmental Decisions (IED), Consumer Behavior, Universitaetstrasse 22, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland.. Electronic address: .
Appetite (Impact Factor: 2.54). 08/2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.07.014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Plenty of studies have demonstrated that effort influences food choice. However, few have been conducted to analyze the effect of effort on consumption volume. Moreover, the few studies that have measured consumption volume all have strong limitations. The goal of the present paper is to disentangle confounding variables in earlier research and to rule out various alternative explanations. In a tasting setting focusing on snacking behavior, either unwrapping a food product or grabbing it with sugar tongs was enough to significantly reduce consumption, regardless of whether an unhealthy or healthy food item was used. Hardly any cognitive resources seem to be necessary for the effect to occur, as cognitive load did not affect the findings. In light of obesity being a pressing concern, these findings might be valuable for individuals as well as for the food industry.

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