Pleasure and the Control of Food Intake: An Embodied Cognition Approach to Consumer Self-Regulation


  • Petit Olivia
  • Basso Frédéric
  • Merunka Dwight
  • Spence Charles
  • Cheok Adrian David
  • Oullier Olivier

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Consumers try to avoid temptation when exposed to appetizing foods by diverting their attention away from their senses (e.g., sight, smell, mouthfeel) and bodily states (e.g., state of arousal, salivation) in order to focus on their longer term goals (e.g., eating healthily, achieving an ideal body weight). However, when not including sensations in their decision‐making processes, consumers risk depleting their self‐regulatory resources, potentially leading to unhealthy food choices. Conversely, based on the concept of “embodied self‐regulation,” the suggestion is made that considering bodily states may help consumers regulate their food choices more effectively. A new model is proposed that facilitates understanding observed consumer behavior and the success or failure of self‐control in food intake. It is argued that bodily states and sensory information should be considered when modeling consumer behavior and developing health‐related advocacy and communication campaigns. The model proposed here leads to new perspectives on consumer consumption behavior and health policy research and strategies.

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