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

Amir Heiman*, Oded Lowengart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)964-973
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Research
Volume67
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by The Israeli Science Foundation (grant No. 1040/11 ).

Keywords

  • Calorie information
  • Choice process
  • Gender
  • Health hazards
  • Importance weights
  • Negative information
  • Risk multi-attribute

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