We propose that dieters hold different lay beliefs about diet approaches, and we categorize dieters into two main types: abstainers, who try to avoid certain types of food entirely, and balancers, who allow “everything in moderation” and strategically indulge during their diets. Building on prior research on implicit self-beliefs, we develop and validate a Diet Balancing Scale (Studies 1 and 2a-b), which assesses lay beliefs about whether balancing or abstinence is a more effective dieting strategy. Study 3 shows that dieters’ actual eating behavior accurately reflects their measured Diet Balancing. Study 4 demonstrates that balancers prefer healthy food advertisements that contain belief-affirming (vs. belief-inconsistent) taglines. The findings suggest that diet-related advertisements and government policies should not be one-size-fits-all, but rather tailored to these individual differences. Overall, the Diet Balancing Scale represents a psychometrically sound tool for the measurement of diet-related self-beliefs.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Journal of Business Research|
|State||Published - Sep 2021|
- Lay belief
- Scale development
ASJC Scopus subject areas