Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to test if our eating behavior is determined not only by conscious evaluations of certain foods (explicit attitudes), but also by their automatic evaluations (implicit attitudes). Design/methodology/approach: In two studies, the authors examined the predictive and incremental validity of these two types of attitudinal measures of eating behavior. Implicit attitudes were assessed with a standard implicit attitude test procedure (target categories were “sweets” and “fruit,” and attribute categories were “good” and “bad”); two explicit attitude measures were assessed: an explicit measure of preference for sweets over fruit and a semantic differential measure. The behavioral measure in Study 1 was the quantity of sweets consumed; in Study 2, it was a relative measure of sweets vs fruit consumption registered through a three-day diary. Findings: The relatively low correlation between implicit and explicit attitude measures indicated that these measures at least partially tap into different processes. Implicit attitudes proved to be superior over explicit attitudes in predicting food consumption, especially for consumption registered via diary. This fact suggests that implicit attitudes are powerful drivers of long-term behavior. Practical implications: The findings could be useful in tailoring interventions to promote healthier eating habits. Originality/value: The research tested predictive power of implicit food-related attitudes. It compared the food consumption in laboratory and real-life settings. A new measure for daily food consumption was developed and it was calculated relative to recommended serving size.

Original publication




Journal article


British Food Journal

Publication Date





2567 - 2580