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Both numerical and traffic light nutritional labeling helps consumers to make healthier choices, but studies have shown that individual self-control makes all the difference in whether or not they are effective. A recent study from Carnegie Mellon University performed several tests to look at the relationship between nutritional labels and self-control. One experiment used a smartphone app and asked participants about eating a Snickers candy bar. The test followed up by entering nutrition information and telling participants that they would need to walk for 65 minutes to burn off the calories of a Snickers bar.
The results of this study found that participants with higher levels of self-control responded that they would be less likely to consume the candy bar. The results showed that levels of self-control affect self-restraint in eating and can also influence the efficiency of nutritional label interventions.
These findings were published in the American Marketing Association Journal of Public Policy & Marketing on September 23, 2015.