Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Appetite 52:3 (June 2009), pp. 753–756; doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.01.005 Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


Understanding which specific foods easily come to mind when individuals consider categories of dietary behavior may help explain observed patterns of dietary intake. We examined which specific behavioral exemplars are most easily retrieved from memory when individuals consider broad dietary categories. Participants reported specific foods that come to mind when considering high fat foods, low fat foods, and fruits/vegetables. Salient foods differed from those suggested in dietary guidelines, were distinct from those known to be major diet components, and showed a non-trivial number of incorrect responses. These findings have implications for understanding how individuals respond to dietary guidelines and devising effective intervention strategies.