Rewarding Behavior with a Sweet Food Strengthens Its Valuation

Jan Michael Bauer, Marina Schröder, Martina Vecchi, Tina Bake, Suzanne L. Dickson, Michele Belot*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Abstrakt

Sweet foods are commonly used as rewards for desirable behavior, specifically among children. This study examines whether such practice may contribute to reinforce the valuation of these foods. Two experiments were conducted, one with children, the other with rats. The first study, conducted with first graders (n = 214), shows that children who receive a food reward for performing a cognitive task subsequently value the food more compared to a control group who received the same food without performing any task. The second study, conducted on rats (n = 64), shows that rewarding with food also translates into higher calorie intake over a 24-hour period. These results suggest that the common practice of rewarding children with calorie-dense sweet foods is a plausible contributing factor to obesity and might therefore be ill advised.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummere0242461
TidsskriftPLOS ONE
Vol/bind16
Udgave nummer4
Antal sider11
ISSN1932-6203
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 14 apr. 2021

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