Salty food brings obesity The effect of saltiness on calorie estimation
- 管理学院－已发表论文 
随着食品与健康越来越受社会的关注, 影响消费者对食物热量估计的因素也成为了营销学者感兴趣的问题。本文基于感官营销领域的联结理论,; 首次探讨了与食物紧密相关的口味--咸味--对食物热量感知的影响, 4组实验表明咸味降低了个体对食物健康程度的感知,; 从而提高了个体对食物热量的估计。实验1采用食物品尝任务发现了咸味提高食物热量估计的主效应。实验2选取普通大众样本,; 检验了主效应的稳健性和外部效度, 同时发现感知健康程度的中介作用。实验3通过操纵对食盐健康与否的认知,; 进一步验证了本文假设的理论机制。实验4发现有害品/有益品的调节作用, 对于有害品, 咸淡口味对食物热量估计的影响作用消失。Consumer's calorie estimation plays an important role in food; consumption choices. However, calorie estimation is often objective and; biased based on many factors. One of the most important factors is; saltiness. Hardly any studies exist to show the influence of saltiness; on food consumption. While the association of saltiness and; unhealthiness is obvious in daily life routines, it is very likely to; have an effect on calorie estimation. The purpose of this study is to; examine the effect of saltiness on calorie estimation. We conducted four; studies to examine our hypothesis. We adopted a laboratorial food taste; task in study 1. Participants were randomly assigned into two groups; (saltiness: strong vs. weak). They were asked to estimate the calorie; content of the peanuts after eating them. The stimuli in two groups were; the same except for the salt content. In order to examine the robustness; of the effect among different age-groups and people from different; regions, we enlarged our sampling to include young adults and elders,; northerners and southerners in study 2. Participants were randomly; assigned into two groups (saltiness: strong vs. weak) then they were; shown a description of the type of food. Additionally, the mediating; role of perceived healthiness is tested in study 2. We manipulated the; healthy perception of salt in study 3 to test the mechanism indirectly.; In the manipulated group, the participants were shown a report implying; that salt could benefit us, while in the control group, the report; showed that a smile was healthy. In study 4, we examined further the; moderating role of food category as well as the mediating role of; perceived healthiness in the effect of saltiness on calorie estimation; with a 2 (saltiness: strong vs. weak) * 2 (food category: healthy vs.; unhealthy) between subject design. Participants were randomly divided; into 4 groups and showed a description of food (e.g., chips mixed with; salt). In all studies, participants needed to estimate the calorie; content of the food described. As predicted, we found that consumer's; estimation in calorie would significantly increase when food was; saltier. The effect is robust among different age groups as well as; participants from Southern China and Northern China. Nevertheless, when; salt was primed to be a healthy element to our body, the increase of; calorie estimation in saltier food no longer existed. Moreover, food; categories played a moderating role. Consumers were more likely to; overestimate the number of calories in saltier healthy food than in; unhealthy ones. Furthermore, the results showed that participants; perceived healthiness mediate the effect of saltiness in calorie; estimation. As perceived healthiness increased, consumers' estimation of; calorie increased as well. The mediating effect existed only in healthy; foods. These results enrich literature regarding calorie estimation.; First, this study explored the field of taste in which it is the most; related factor in food consumption. Secondly, it added the evidence that; calorie estimation is irrational and easily biased due to salt itself; contains zero calories. Third, we examined the perceived healthiness as; a mechanism to the effect. Moreover, this study has shown some insight; for companies. By making food products less salty, sales may increase; not only because it may seem healthier to consumers but it may also; cause consumers to underestimate the amount calorie intake.