“Healthy”/“Unhealthy” Food Brands Influence Health, Calorie, and Price Ratings of Food

Travis D. Masterson, Caterina Florissi, Kimberly R. Clark, Diane Gilbert-Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: To assess the effect of healthy or unhealthy food brands on consumer ratings of a food's perceived healthfulness, caloric content, and estimated price. Methods: Using a crossover design, 35 adults aged 18–25 years scored a variety of healthy and unhealthy foods paired with “healthy” or “unhealthy” brands or with no brand present, on their healthfulness, caloric content, and estimated price. For each outcome measure, ANOVA was used to evaluate the effect of brand condition on healthy and unhealthy foods. Results: Pairing an unhealthy food with a “healthy brand” led to increased ratings of healthfulness (P < .001), decreased estimates of caloric content (P < .001), and increased price (P < .001). Pairing a healthy food with an “unhealthy brand” led to decreased ratings of healthfulness (P < .001), increased estimates of caloric content (P < .001), and decreased price (P < .001). Conclusions and Implications: These findings extend previous research showing that brands may influence perceptions of food products. Future studies are needed to understand the implications of pairing healthy foods with “unhealthy brands” on actual food intake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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