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Open AccessArticle

Food Reward and Food Choice. An Inquiry Through The Liking and Wanting Model

1
Tilburg University, Professor Cobbenhagenlaan 9 9.14, 5037 DA Tilburg, Brabant, The Netherlands
2
Departament of Economy and Business, University of Almería, Carretera de Sacramento s.n., 04120 Almería, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 639; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030639
Received: 30 January 2020 / Revised: 20 February 2020 / Accepted: 25 February 2020 / Published: 28 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
What if consumers are getting obese because eating less calories is more difficult for persons that have a higher pleasure and desire towards food (Ikeda et al., 2005) and food companies do not help given only a two extreme option choice to satisfy their needs (i.e., low calories vs. high calories or healthy vs. unhealthy)? Reward systems are being described with a new conceptual approach where liking—the pleasure derived from eating a given food—and wanting—motivational value, desire, or craving—can be seen as the significant forces guiding eating behavior. Our work shows that pleasure (liking), desire (wanting), and the interaction between them influence and are good predictors of food choice and food intake. Reward responses to food are closely linked to food choice, inducing to caloric overconsumption. Based on the responses given to a self-administered questionnaire measuring liking and wanting attitudes, we found three different segments named ‘Reward lovers,’ ‘Half epicurious,’ and ‘Non indulgents’. Their behavior when choosing food is quite different. Results show differential effects on caloric consumption depending on segments. The introduction of more food choices that try to balance their content is a win-win strategy for consumers, companies, and society.
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Keywords: consumer choice; self-control; taste; bundles; food reward; food choice; liking-wanting; obesity; variety-seeking; health consumer choice; self-control; taste; bundles; food reward; food choice; liking-wanting; obesity; variety-seeking; health
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Recio-Román, A.; Recio-Menéndez, M.; Román-González, M.V. Food Reward and Food Choice. An Inquiry Through The Liking and Wanting Model. Nutrients 2020, 12, 639.

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