Overweight people spend more when THIS happens

According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, even subtle reminders of idealized bodies can encourage overweight consumers to overspend.

Studies show that exposure to body cues (i.e., shapes) can have unintended consequences on seemingly unrelated behavior, such as spending. Seeing a thin -- as opposed to wide -- human-like shape prompts high-body-mass-index consumers to make more indulgent spending decisions.

The authors found that mere reminders of the thin-body ideal can cause overweight consumers to feel worse about their own abilities, including management of their spending impulses.

In one study where consumers were shown an object with a thin, human-like shape (e.g., something that resembles a Coca-Coca bottle), high-BMI consumers were more likely to buy a higher-priced, Fiji-brand bottle of water than a lower-priced, generic-brand bottle. Another study on shopping found that high-BMI consumers were more willing to take on credit card debt after seeing a thin (vs. wide) shape because they felt less capable of reining in their spending impulses.

These findings indicate that consumer advocates should be wary of reinforcing the link between weight, self-control, and financial success, as doing so can have negative consequences. The implications are especially significant considering the negative impact such messages can have on consumer debt and spending.

Moreover, the studies show that body shapes are powerful cues that can influence consumer spending preferences. Marketers have long used slender forms, designs and models to promote social and economic benefits. However, their design decisions might lead overweight consumers to spend more lavishly, leading to potential debt problems.

Did you ever think that exposure to body cues could lead overweight people to spend more?

No comments: