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Prejudgments of those who eat a “healthy” versus an “unhealthy” food for breakfast

Abstract

The general public has acquired the belief that some foods promote healthfulness while others cause disease and death. Do these beliefs about foods influence our perceptions of those who routinely eat a “good” or a “bad” food? For the present study we attempted to expand our understanding of the impact of categorical thinking concerning the health value of foods. Respondents were given a description of a man (or woman) who typically eats pie (or oatmeal with fruit and nuts) for breakfast then asked to rate the target individual on 42 descriptors. Although considered more humorous and less boring, pie (compared to oatmeal) eaters were generally judged negatively. Further, women (compared to men) who eat pie were considered less likeable, healthy, and athletic. A specific food's reputation for healthfulness can apparently impact our judgments of the individuals who routinely eat the food.

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Correspondence to Michael E. Oakes.

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Oakes, M.E., Slotterback, C.S. Prejudgments of those who eat a “healthy” versus an “unhealthy” food for breakfast. Curr Psychol 23, 267–278 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-004-1001-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-004-1001-6

Keywords

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Female Respondent
  • Current Psychology
  • Male Respondent
  • Calorie Content