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Health Psychol. 1994 Mar;13(2):180-3.

Naughty but nice: a laboratory study of health information and food preferences in a community sample.

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  • 1Imperial Cancer Research Fund Health Behaviour Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, London, England.


The influence of information about the fat content of food and cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention on taste ratings and food intake in a test meal was examined. Forty Ss were allocated at random to CVD information or control conditions. Ss rated 2 brands of yogurt and 2 cheese sandwiches, with 1 flavor of each food labeled full-fat and the other low-fat. In fact, fat levels were identical, and the label-flavor pairings were counterbalanced. Overall, Ss gave lower liking ratings to the low-fat labeled foods. However, Ss in the information condition tended to eat a smaller proportion of the full-fat sandwiches. The results supported the utility of a laboratory setting for evaluating the influence of health-relevant information on responses to food.

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