Dissociation between real-world food choices and health value judgements in obesity


In an fMRI study published in eNeuro, we show that overweight people make unhealthier food choices when presented with real food compared to lean people, though both make similar healthier selections when presented with hypothetical choices. Very similar health value judgements of foods in lean and overweight people were accompanied by comparable patterns of brain activity.

These findings demonstrate that greater consumption of unhealthy foods by overweight people is not driven by differences in health value judgements. They also highlight the power of food environments in overriding people’s intentions in making healthier food choices.

The presence of real food usurps hypothetical health value judgment in overweight people. Medic NZiauddeen H, Forwood SE, Davies KM, Ahern AL, Jebb SA, Marteau TM, Fletcher PC. eNeuro