Supersize me: why purchasing in bulk could help you eat healthier

Research on food consumption suggests that the more you have in your kitchen, the more you're likely to eat.

The idea is that availability encourages consumption – but what if the available foods were healthy ones?

The supersize phenomenon

Vanderbilt marketing researchers Kelly L. Haws and Karen Winterich found that consumers might be just as willing to buy healthy foods in bulk if they feel like they're saving money.

But unlike a giant tray of french fries or a large box of cookies, "supersized" healthy foods, like a bag of baby carrots, for instance, could help people make healthier choices.

"Consumers are very attracted to deals in general and saving money per unit is very appealing to us, even when the deal is a larger bag of baby carrots," Haws said in a statement.

Proportional prices

The researchers said that consumers would probably choose smaller sizes of packaged foods if the prices were proportional to what they were actually receiving. Yet the allure of supersizing – whether it's a healthy or unhealthy option – is a strong one.

The study also found, however, that reminders of nutritional goals, like signs near the products, can help minimize the "harmful effects" of supersizing purchase behavior.

The main takeaway? Go ahead and "supersize it" when it comes to healthy foods. It could influence your eating behavior for the better.

Source: Vanderbilt

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