Published: September 2012

ID #: 1062

Journal: Obes Rev

Authors: Cohen DA, Babey SH

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Over the past few decades, behavioral economics, social psychology, and neuroscience research has suggested that people are often irrational and their choices are frequently the consequence of automatic, hard-wired, instinctual processes made without conscious awareness. This paper reviews some of the evidence that dietary behaviors are, in large part, the consequence of automatic response to contextual food cues, many of which lead to increased caloric consumption and poor dietary choices. Findings from the review suggest that most people lack the capacity to consistently make wise food choices given the habitual nature of eating, the rapidity with which people must make eating decisions, and the cognitive depletion associated with decision-making.

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