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Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Labels affect food choices, but in what ways?
Authors: Kühne, Swen J.
Reijnen, Ester
Granja, Gracinda
Hansen, Rachel S.
et. al: No
DOI: 10.3390/nu14153204
Published in: Nutrients
Volume(Issue): 14
Issue: 15
Page(s): 3204
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher / Ed. Institution: MDPI
ISSN: 2072-6643
Language: English
Subjects: Food label; Nutri-Score; Sugar; Healthy food; Calorie; Averaging bias; Licensing effect
Subject (DDC): 150: Psychology
613.2: Dietetics
Abstract: To reduce obesity and thus promote healthy food choices, front-of-pack (FOP) labels have been introduced. Though FOP labels help identify healthy foods, their impact on actual food choices is rather small. A newly developed so-called swipe task was used to investigate whether the type of label used (summary vs. nutrient-specific) had differential effects on different operationalizations of the “healthier choice” measure (e.g., calories and sugar). After learning about the product offerings of a small online store, observers (N = 354) could, by means of a swipe gesture, purchase the products they needed for a weekend with six people. Observers were randomly assigned to one of five conditions, two summary label conditions (Nutri-Score and HFL), two nutrient (sugar)-specific label conditions (manga and comic), or a control condition without a label. Unexpectedly, more products (+7.3 products)—albeit mostly healthy ones—and thus more calories (+1732 kcal) were purchased in the label conditions than in the control condition. Furthermore, the tested labels had different effects with respect to the different operationalizations (e.g., manga reduced sugar purchase). We argue that the additional green-labeled healthy products purchased (in label conditions) “compensate” for the purchase of red-labeled unhealthy products (see averaging bias and licensing effect).
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): CC BY 4.0: Attribution 4.0 International
Departement: Applied Psychology
Organisational Unit: Psychological Institute (PI)
Appears in collections:Publikationen Angewandte Psychologie

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Kühne, S. J., Reijnen, E., Granja, G., & Hansen, R. S. (2022). Labels affect food choices, but in what ways? Nutrients, 14(15), 3204.
Kühne, S.J. et al. (2022) ‘Labels affect food choices, but in what ways?’, Nutrients, 14(15), p. 3204. Available at:
S. J. Kühne, E. Reijnen, G. Granja, and R. S. Hansen, “Labels affect food choices, but in what ways?,” Nutrients, vol. 14, no. 15, p. 3204, 2022, doi: 10.3390/nu14153204.
KÜHNE, Swen J., Ester REIJNEN, Gracinda GRANJA und Rachel S. HANSEN, 2022. Labels affect food choices, but in what ways? Nutrients. 2022. Bd. 14, Nr. 15, S. 3204. DOI 10.3390/nu14153204
Kühne, Swen J., Ester Reijnen, Gracinda Granja, and Rachel S. Hansen. 2022. “Labels Affect Food Choices, but in What Ways?” Nutrients 14 (15): 3204.
Kühne, Swen J., et al. “Labels Affect Food Choices, but in What Ways?” Nutrients, vol. 14, no. 15, 2022, p. 3204,

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