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I'll have what they're having: Study finds social norms influence food choices
Date:12/29/2013

s found social norms influence our food choices. The analysis also revealed that the social mechanisms that influence what we decide to consume are present even when we eat alone or are at work, whether or not we are aware of it.

"Norms influence behavior by altering the extent to which an individual perceives the behavior in question to be beneficial to them. Human behavior can be guided by a perceived group norm, even when people have little or no motivation to please other people," says Dr. Robinson. "Given that in some studies the participants did not believe that their behavior was influenced by the informational eating norms, it seems that participants may not have been consciously considering the norm information when making food choices."

Investigators caution that more research is needed, but that these types of studies can help us understand the way people make decisions about food consumption and can help shape public policy and messaging about healthy choices.

"The evidence reviewed here is consistent with the idea that eating behaviors can be transmitted socially," remarks Dr. Robinson. "Taking these points into consideration, the findings of the present review may have implications for the development of more effective public health campaigns to promote 'healthy eating.' Policies or messages that normalize healthy eating habits or reduce the prevalence of beliefs that lots of people eat unhealthily may have beneficial effects on public health."


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Contact: Eileen Leahy
andjrnlmedia@elsevier.com
732-238-3628
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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