The Pursuit of Health: Motivating Healthy Food Choices and Physical Activity

Julia Storch


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Nowadays, most people live in countries where overweight and obesity kill more people than being underweight, rendering obesity one of the biggest global health crises of the 21st century. The increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity can be traced back to the overconsumption of unhealthy foods that are highly palatable, yet energy-dense and simultaneous decreases in physical activity.
This dissertation approaches the question of how consumers can be motivated to implement healthy food choices and physical activity into their daily lives and touches on several forces that influence consumers’ motivation to engage in such health behaviors.
In Chapter 2, I demonstrate that the notion of “no pain, no gain” that is ubiquitous in the market place for fitness products mostly undermines exercisers’ self-efficacy and thus their exercise intentions. Chapter 3 shows that specifically consumers with low expectancies of managing their body weight can be motivated to make healthier food choices through pride recall. Chapter 4 presents a conceptual framework that informs our understanding of how the emotions pride and guilt can guide consumers during their goal pursuit. In Chapter 5, I provide a comparison of three common online workout formats and show that workouts characterized by higher levels of trainer social presence are particularly conducive to exercise motivation.
Together these findings illustrate that motivating consumers to engage in healthy food choices and physical activity depends both on their perceived ability to successfully engage in these health behaviors and how much they prioritize their health goals at any given moment.
Originele taal-2English
KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
Toekennende instantie
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • van Ittersum, Koert, Supervisor
  • van Doorn, Jenny, Supervisor
Datum van toekenning7-nov.-2022
Plaats van publicatie[Groningen]
StatusPublished - 2022


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