Send to

Choose Destination
Physiol Behav. 1996 Nov;60(5):1331-5.

Relationships of consumer characteristics and food deprivation to food purchasing behavior.

Author information

Consumer Sciences Department, Institute of Food Research, Reading, UK.


A large part of domestic food intake may be determined by retail food purchase behavior, and it is commonly believed that this may be significantly influenced by the shopper's state of food deprivation. In the present study, 198 subjects recruited just prior to shopping at a large supermarket completed questionnaires eliciting information on demographic and situational variables, along with measures of time since last eating (TSLE), hunger, and dietary restraint. Upon leaving the store, subjects provided investigators with itemized receipts, having first identified all "unintended" purchases. There were no consistent main effects of TSLE, self-reported hunger, dietary restraint scores, or relative body weight on the number or cost of total, intended, and unintended food and nonfood purchases. However, there were significant interactions of weight status and measures of food deprivation upon measures of food purchasing. Although normal-weight subjects tended to increase their food purchases with food deprivation, the number and cost of food items fell markedly with extended food deprivation among overweight subjects. These effects were largely specific to food (i.e., generally not observed for nonfood purchases), but showed no consistent associations with unintended purchases or with particular foods or food groups. Higher dietary restraint and relative body weight were associated with lower reported hunger ratings, but not differences in mean TSLE, or other subject characteristics. These results run directly counter to common beliefs and recommendations for weight control and dieting, but support earlier work indicating that the food purchasing behaviors of normal-weight and overweight individuals are differently affected by food deprivation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center