Why can calorie posting be apparently ineffective? The roles of two conflicting learning effects

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    Abstract

    We investigate why the aggregate effect of calorie posting on calorie consumption can be insignificant by decomposing the learning effect into two conflicting components: a calorie-decreasing effect of learning that one was underestimating caloric content (LUE), and a calorie-increasing effect of learning that one was overestimating caloric content (LOE). Our lab snack-order experiments demonstrate the existence of the LUE effect (−8.3%) and the LOE effect (+4.8%), where the aggregate learning effect is −5.8%. Our results also imply that the LUE can be cancelled out by a positive saliency effect, while the undesirable saliency effect may be mitigated by combining the calorie posting with information about daily calorie needs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)107-120
    Number of pages14
    JournalFood Policy
    Volume64
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 1

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    Keywords

    • Calorie consumption
    • Calorie posting
    • Laboratory experiment
    • Learning

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Food Science
    • Development
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Economics and Econometrics
    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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