Effects of Impulsivity and Self-control on Calorie Intake
Neoclassical economic theory models individuals as making consistent choices over time and it assumes these choices are the outcome of rational utility maximization. Recent theoretical developments in the theory of consumer decision-making have drawn evidence from other disciplines such as, neuroscience (McClure et al, 2004) and psychology, and proposed more generalized models in a dual-self framework explicitly accounting for self-control or impulsivity (Gul and Pesendorfer, 2004; Fudenberg and Levine, 2006; and Brocas and Carillo, 2008). This study attempts to understand the dietary choices in a dual-self framework while explicitly identifying calorie intake owing to impulsivity and self-control. We construct standard psychological measures using the responses to the Dutch Eating Behavioral Questionnaire (DEBQ) filled by the respondents of the UK Diet and Nutrition Survey. These measures have been tested for their validity and apply to a broad range of population: of different weights, across gender, ethnicity (Bardone-Cone, and Boyd, 2007) and are used in experiments (Ouwens, 2005).Using panel data methods, we find that impulsivity increases calorie intake and self-control decreases calorie intake. Further, caloric intake is larger than one can restrain and therefore the result of the intrapersonal conflict is positive calories intake on average.
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