Informed indulgence : the effects of nutrition information provision and dietary restraint on consecutive food consumption decisions

Ga Eun (Grace) OH*, Young Eun HUH, Anirban MUKHOPADHYAY

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Nutrition and menu labelling have been increasingly implemented worldwide. This research examines the effect of nutrition information provision on the immediate and subsequent consumption decisions of restrained and unrestrained eaters. 

Design: We conducted three scenario-based experiments. In Study 1 (N = 478) and Study 2 (N = 199), we manipulated the availability of nutrition information and measured dietary restraint. Study 3 (N = 275) extended Study 2 by adding a condition where we provided reference information about recommended daily calories. 

Main outcome measures: We measured choices between relatively low-calorie and high-calorie alternatives (Studies 1–3) and measured a subsequent decision to consume indulgent food (Studies 2 and 3). 

Results: Nutrition information did not generally affect choices between low-calorie and high-calorie options, irrespective of dietary restraint. However, restrained eaters who chose a high-calorie option in the presence of nutrition information indicated they would reduce subsequent intake. 

Conclusion: Nutrition information does not necessarily reduce the choice of relatively high-calorie food, but it can help restrained eaters reduce subsequent intake after a high-calorie choice. These results suggest that despite not having an immediate effect on choices, nutrition and menu labelling may benefit restrained eaters at a later time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1314-1335
Number of pages22
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number11
Early online date10 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (UGC/IDS/16/17, CERG 692413, ECS 26500116) and a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant (MSIT; No. 2018R1D1A1B07043313).


  • dietary restraint
  • food choice
  • menu labelling
  • Nutrition labelling
  • public policy
  • self-regulation


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