I am a marketing professor (yes, a dreaded Ph.D.) and, surprisingly, there are a lot of food related studies appearing in the Journal of Consumer Research, a major marketing journal, that are relevant to the theme of this blog.
In one study, dieters are more cranky than non-dieters (because, in my opinion, they are starving on a high carb, low fat diet). The study appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research; here is an online report summarizing the findings. If you use a computer on a university campus, you will likely be able to access the original article. If not, read the summary. I'd be cranky, too, on a low-fat, high carb diet.
Do names matter? Another study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that when a food is labeled by a name perceived to be unhealthy (e.g., pasta), dieters perceive the item to be more unhealthy than non-dieters. But when the same food is identified by a healthy name (e.g., salad), dieters and non-dieters alike make no product evaluations.
Yet another study in The Journal of Consumer Research shows that junk food is impulsively purchased, and the shoppers who pay by credit card are much more likely to purchase junk food than shoppers who pay with cash. One thousand households were observed over a six month period and the researchers concluded that credit card purchases are relatively painless, whereas separating with cold hard cash is not. Of course, the nannies in the study now want us all to pay for junk food with cash. Why not just avoid it?
For whatever reason, there are a large number of food studies in JCR. I will report on more later.