Light or Regular, Now or Later: The Impact of Advance Ordering and Restrained Eating on Choices and Consumption of Light and Regular Vice Food

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Research has shown that an effective way of encouraging consumers to make healthier food choices is to have them choose early (i.e., advance ordering). However, the effectiveness of advance ordering remains unknown when consumers choose between regular and light versions of unhealthy food (e.g., regular and low-fat chips), a common situation in daily consumption. We thus investigated the effect of advance ordering on both food choices and consumption of light and regular vices and compared its impact with that of chronic restrained eating. Two experiments demonstrated that advance ordering did not influence calorie intake or encourage consumers to substitute a regular vice with a light vice. Rather, individual differences in restrained eating consistently predicted both choices and consumed calories. We also discuss the implications of our findings for consumer well-being and advance ordering in the context of lighter-vice options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-500
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Association for Consumer Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by Erasmus Research Institute of Management and Peking University. The authors gratefully acknowledge the feedback from the editor and two anonymous reviewers that strengthens the article. Data and materials for this research are available at

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Association for Consumer Research. All rights reserved.

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