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The moderating role of self-control in the relation between food cue exposure and caloric intake

Authors
Journal
Appetite
0195-6663
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
71
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.06.022

Abstract

This study examines to what extent self-control moderates the influence of advergames promoting unhealthy food on caloric intake among children. Two hundred and sixty one children aged 6–9 played an advergame for 5min, and caloric intake during play was tested. Children in the treatment conditions played an advergame promoting energy-dense snacks, while children in the control conditions played an advergame promoting non-food products. An extra manipulation was that half of the children were instructed to inhibit their craving for a reward, while other children were only instructed that they could eat as much as they wanted. Afterwards, they completed the experimental measures. Results (N=261) show that children that played an advergame containing energy-dense snacks had a higher caloric intake than children that played an advergame containing non-food products. Furthermore, children that played an advergame promoting energy dense snacks that were instructed to inhibit their craving had a lower caloric intake than children that did not receive this instruction. Most remarkable is that children that played the advergame promoting energy-dense snacks and were instructed to inhibit food intake had a higher caloric intake than children that played the advergame promoting non-food products and had the same instruction. These findings suggest that advergames promoting energy-dense snacks increases the caloric intake of children and that these advergames makes it harder for children to self-control their craving for food.

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