Shaping consumption propensity through the emotional response evoked by nutritional labels: Evidence from an fMRI study

Antonella Marchetti, Cinzia Di Dio, Cristina Zerbini, Beatrice Luceri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The study aims to investigate a) the ability of nutritional labels in pictorial and textual form to guide consumption choices applying the dual-coding theory; b) the effectiveness of a new type of pictorial label (i.e. the body label) that appeals to the self-congruence theory and to positive emotional response. The research hypotheses were tested trough a 2x4x2 fMRI experimental design with 2 levels of product version (regular vs light), 4 levels of label type (text vs traffic light vs star rating vs body) and 2 levels of group of people (normal weight vs overweight). The body light label generates more brain activation in areas involved in the reward circuit compared to the body regular one, and compared to all the other types of labels for both versions, only in the overweight subject group. Furthermore, the star rating label has the worst performance in orienting healthy food choices as it requires more cognitive effort. The results are of interest to policy maker's strategies and to out-of-store and in-store communication strategies with the aim to contract the excessive body-weight phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalFood Research International
Volume125
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Dual-coding theory
  • Emotional response
  • Nutritional label
  • Overweight
  • Self-congruence theory
  • fMRI

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