• Oladunni Omebere-Iyari

Student thesis: Phd


Although many adults possess the innate desire to pursue healthy eating choices, they often fail in fast-food environments because bundle meal discounts surround them. These discounts activate a monetary savings goal and can result in a goal conflict with one’s healthy eating goal. This thesis addresses this research problem by answering three questions a) How does calorie attentiveness influence a consumer's decision to choose a food bundle? b) How do calorie attentive consumers perceive bundle meal discounts? Furthermore, how does trait self-regulatory orientation influence one’s perception of bundle meal discounts? c) Can the presence of a discounted but low-calorie food bundle result in goal alignment and thus influence a calorie attentive consumer’s preference for a food bundle? This thesis integrates the goal systems and regulatory focus theories to explain goal conflict in eating. This thesis contributes a new perspective that attributes the difficulty of making healthy food choices to a conflict between two incompatible goal means: calorie attentiveness and price discounts. This thesis provides novel insights into the psychological mechanism of subconscious goal activations and trait regulatory orientations responsible for healthy eating success. Four studies conducted on 1006 participants investigated the research questions. Results reveal four main findings: i) calorie attentiveness when primed (versus self-reported) results in a lesser preference for a food bundle. ii) calorie attentive consumers are less likely to find discounts on unhealthy food bundles attractive because it represents a distraction from their healthy eating goal. iii) calorie attentive consumers with a high prevention focus self-regulation will be more vigilant to avoid tempting discounts. iv) calorie attentive consumers will significantly choose a food bundle when it comprises low-calorie components because the food bundle aligns with the consumer's healthy eating goal.
Date of Award31 Dec 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorHongwei He (Supervisor) & Panagiotis Sarantopoulos (Supervisor)


  • Calorie attentiveness
  • Food bundles
  • Healthy eating
  • Goal conflict
  • Meal deal

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