How weight-related cues affect food intake in a modeling situation

Brunner, Thomas (2010). How weight-related cues affect food intake in a modeling situation Appetite, 55(3), pp. 507-511. Elsevier 10.1016/j.appet.2010.08.018

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In a standard modeling experiment, a naïve participant eats in the presence of an experimental confederate who has been instructed to eat a lot or a little. Results from such experiments show that people eat more when eating companions eat more and less when eating companions eat less. This modeling effect has been shown to be highly powerful. In the current report, two studies demonstrate that the effect is moderated when participants are exposed to weight-related cues. In Study 1, a body-weight scale was present in the experimental room; in Study 2, a weight-related verbal statement was uttered. Results of both of the chocolate tasting studies show that without the weight-related cues, participants consumed more chocolate when the confederate ate a large quantity than when she ate little. However, in the sessions including the weight-related cues, participants ate little chocolate, regardless of how much the confederate consumed. Weight-related cues might function as primes that elicit cognitions about body weight and these cognitions might, unbeknownst to the individual, render him or her more vigilant concerning food intake, thereby decreasing consumption.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Consumer-focused Food Production


Brunner, Thomas0000-0002-6770-6548


H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)








Thomas Brunner

Date Deposited:

04 May 2020 11:19

Last Modified:

11 Oct 2021 02:18

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

External cues, Awareness, Food intake, Modeling eating behavior, Body weight




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