A simple observable fact is social modeling, where people have a habit of regulating their consumption. Also, recent research indicated that people do not only match to the food ingestion of others, but also to the food selections of other individuals. Environmental cues signal the predominating norm about food choice or food intake. Probing such physical traces of other’s eating behavior appears especially appropriate in light of the present ‘obesogenic’ food environment. The current studies investigated the function of environmental cues in guiding person’s dietary judgment.
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Grounded in the concept that people display an inclination to follow to eating standards resulting from the eating manners of others. The existence of empty wrappers was stage-managed, to show whether others who had been in the same position had or had not eaten. Point biserial association coefﬁcients were calculated to evaluate potential associations between the eating of chocolate and BMI, weight concerns, and time since last food intake.
None of these variables were signiﬁcantly related to whether participants chose chocolates. Participants were expected to choose between a healthy and an unhealthy snack. Food wrappers pointed out whether previous participants had selected the healthy or the unhealthy snack. As anticipated, participants were more tending to take chocolates in the incidence of an environmental cue that others did too. Likewise, participants were more inclined to select a snack that was coherent with the choice of others.
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