Differences in judgments of food healthfulness by young and elderly women
Results from previous work indicated that women (compared to men) were more likely to use stereotypes when evaluating the healthfulness of food names and suggested the possibility of cohort (i.e. a group of similar age and experience) differences in judgments of food healthiness. In the present study age/cohort differences in judgments of food healthfulness were examined using both college-aged and elderly (mean age 74 years) samples of women. Also, for the first time, information about an additional nutrient (carbohydrates) was provided in the food descriptions. Results indicated that the addition of carbohydrates likely had a minimal influence on health ratings. Further, discrepancies between food name and description ratings were generally larger for the younger women compared to the elderly sample. The younger women's healthfulness ratings indicated extremely negative attitudes concerning dietary fat while the elderly women attended to other food characteristics (e.g. fiber and sodium) in addition to fat.