The Effect of Sensory Language on Meal Perception.

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Over the recent years and with the rise of Covid-19, people have become increasingly more aware of the impact that diet has on their overall health and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. While a change in diet seems easy in theory, research has found that people are not always willing to give up taste and choose a healthier meal option. However, research has also shown that language can play a role in making people opt for healthier food options by making use of sensory language. Additionally, the rise in globalisation has led to people leading an increasingly more international lifestyle, in which language plays a significant role. This research looked at how different types of sensory language, Indulgent and Traditional, can effect the meal perception of healthy meals in both the L1 and the L2. The study was conducted through an online questionnaire that was distributed in two different language groups, L1 and L2. The L1 group consisted of Dutch native speakers who saw the descriptions in Dutch, and the L2 group consisted of English native speakers who also read the descriptions in Dutch. The participants were asked about their perception of three different meal descriptions using Indulgent, Traditional and Neutral Language. The results found that Indulgent Language led to an increased meal perception compared to both Traditional and Neutral Language. No significant effect for language type or interaction effect was found in the analysis. An additional analysis was done to investigate the role of hunger that the participants felt at the time of the questionnaire, and found that this did not play a role.
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