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Might an overweight waitress make you eat more? How the body type of others is sufficient to alter our food consumption

journal contribution
posted on 2010-04-01, 00:00 authored by Brent McFerranBrent McFerran, D W Dahl, G J Fitzsimons, A C Morales
This paper investigates how people's food choices can be shaped by the body type of others around them. Using a professionally constructed obesity prosthesis, we show that the body type of a (confederate) server in a taste test study was sufficient to alter both the quantity (Experiment 1) and specific choices (Experiment 2) participants made but that chronic dieters and non-dieters exhibited opposite effects. While non-dieters ate more snacks when the server was thin, dieters ate more when the server was heavy. Dieters were also more persuaded by a heavy (vs. a thin) server, choosing both a healthy and unhealthy snack more often when she recommended it to them. We suggest these results may be attributable to identification with the server. © 2010 Society for Consumer Psychology.

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Journal

Journal of Consumer Psychology

Volume

20

Issue

2

Pagination

146 - 151

ISSN

1057-7408

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