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

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McFerran, B; Dahl, DW; Fitzsimons, GJ; Morales, AC

Published Date

  • April 1, 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 146 - 151

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1057-7408

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jcps.2010.03.006

Citation Source

  • Scopus