Emotional ability training and mindful eating

Blair Kidwell, Jonathan Hasford, David M. Hardesty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Consumers are often mindless eaters. This research provides a framework for how consumers can become more mindful of their food choices. To do so, the authors develop an ability-based training program to strengthen people's ability to focus on goal-relevant emotional information. They demonstrate not only that emotional ability (EA) is trainable and that food choices can be enhanced (Study 1) but also that EA training improves food choices beyond a nutrition knowledge training program (Study 2). In Study 3, the authors test a conceptual model and find that EA training increases goal-relevant emotional thoughts and reduces reliance on the unhealthy = tasty intuition. Both factors mediate mindful eating effects. Last, Study 4 demonstrates the long-term benefits of EA training by showing that emotionally trained people lose more weight in a three-month period than a control group and a nutrition knowledge training group. Together, these findings suggest that consumers can gain control of their food choices through the enhancement of EA. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for policy officials, health care professionals, and marketers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-119
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Marketing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, American Marketing Association.


  • Emotional ability
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Mindful eating
  • Nutrition knowledge
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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