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Appetite. 2016 Jan 1;96:636-641. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2015.10.024. Epub 2015 Oct 24.

Pre-exposure to food temptation reduces subsequent consumption: A test of the procedure with a South-African sample.

Author information

1
Department of Marketing, School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, 1 Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfontein, 2000, Johannesburg, South Africa. Electronic address: duhhelen@yahoo.com.
2
Behavioral Engineering Research Group, Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven, Naamsestraat 69, 3000 Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address: Aiste.Grubliauskiene@kuleuven.be.
3
Behavioral Engineering Research Group, Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven, Naamsestraat 69, 3000 Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address: Siegfried.dewitte@kuleuven.be.

Abstract

It has been suggested that the consumption of unhealthy Westernized diet in a context of poverty and resultant food insecurity may have contributed to South-Africa's status of the third fattest country in the World. Considering that a number of South-Africans are reported to have experienced, or are still experiencing food insecurity, procedures which have been shown to reduce the consumption of unhealthy food in higher income countries may be ineffective in South-Africa. We thus tested the robustness of the so called pre-exposure procedure in South-Africa. We also tested the moderating role of childhood poverty in the pre-exposure procedure. With the pre-exposure procedure, a respondent is exposed to a tempting unhealthy food (e.g. candy) in a context that is designed such that eating the food interferes with a task goal. The typical result is that this procedure spills over and reduces consumption of similar tempting food later on. An experimental study conducted in a South-African laboratory showed that the pre-exposure effect is robust even with a sample, where food insecurity prevails. Childhood poverty did not moderate the effect. This study proves that behavioral procedures aimed at reducing the consumption of unhealthy food would be valuable in less rich non-Western countries. Further testing of the robustness of the pre-exposure effect is however recommended in other poorer food insecure countries.

KEYWORDS:

Food security; Obesity; Poverty; Pre-exposure procedure; South Africa; Tempting food

PMID:
26505288
DOI:
10.1016/j.appet.2015.10.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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