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Do hedonic- versus nutrition-based attitudes toward food predict food choices? a cross-sectional study of 6- to 11-year-olds

Abstract : Background: Implicit and explicit attitudes are potential precursors of food choices and combine affective and cognitive components that can vary in their relative dominance. Yet, the affective and cognitive components of attitudes toward food can lead to distinct predisposition toward a food item and potentially to different food choices. In the food domain, the affective component pertains to the hedonic tone of consumption, while the cognitive component encompasses nutritional value or health consequences of food. The present study investigated whether hedonic-versus nutrition-based implicit and/or explicit attitudes toward food predicts children's healthy versus unhealthy food choices. Methods: A total of 63 children (age range = 6.3-11.5) participated in a 90-min session at 5 pm (i.e., afterschool snack time in France). The children were asked to choose five food items from a buffet featuring five healthy and five unhealthy sweet foods pretested as being highly liked. Children ate what they had chosen. Moreover, their implicit attitudes were assessed with a pairing task in which children were presented with 10 food triplets and asked to choose two food items that "best go together". For each triplet, foods could be paired according to their hedonic or nutritional characteristics. Explicit attitudes were assessed with a task in which children placed each of 48 food items into one of the following categories: "yummy", "yucky" (i.e., hedonic categories), "makes you strong", or "makes you fat" (i.e., nutritional categories). Results: Both implicit and explicit attitudes significantly influenced children's food choices. We observed that children with more hedonic-based implicit or explicit attitudes toward food were more likely to choose healthy food options from the buffet. Conversely, children with both implicit and explicit nutrition-based attitudes chose less healthy foods. Conclusions: Hedonic-based attitudes toward food seem to drive healthier food choices in children compared with nutrition-based attitudes in this particular eating context. These findings suggest that pleasure from eating might be an ally with regard to healthy eating among children. Additional research is needed to understand the etiology of children's attitudes toward food in order to provide insights on how to shape adequate children's attitudes to guide them toward healthy food choices.
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Soumis le : mardi 26 mai 2020 - 18:48:14
Dernière modification le : dimanche 26 juin 2022 - 01:55:57


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Lucile Marty, Maud Miguet, Marie Bournez, Sophie Nicklaus, Stephanie Chambaron, et al.. Do hedonic- versus nutrition-based attitudes toward food predict food choices? a cross-sectional study of 6- to 11-year-olds. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2017, 14 (1), pp.162-172. ⟨10.1186/s12966-017-0618-4⟩. ⟨hal-01686542⟩



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