The SnackWell effect is a phenomenon whereby dieters will eat more low-calorie cookies, such as SnackWells, than they otherwise would for normal cookies. Also known as moral license, it is also described as a term for the way people go overboard once they are given a free pass or the tendency of people to overconsume when eating more of low-fat food due to the belief that it is not fattening.
The term, which emerged as a reaction to dietary trends in the 1980s and 1990s, is also used for similar effects in other settings, such as energy consumption, where it is termed the "rebound effect". For example, according to a 2008 study, people with energy-efficient washing machines wash more clothes. People with energy-efficient lights leave them on longer, and lose 5–12% of the expected energy savings of 80%.
In popular cultureEdit
- "One reason I've suggested is what called the SnackWell's Phenomenon: By giving a free pass to good nutrients, people go there and eat a lot more food. If one SnackWell's is okay because it's low-fat, a whole box is probably better." -- Food writer Michael Pollan in his Otis Lecture at Bates College, Oct. 27, 2008.
- "Buzzword: Snackwell's effect". Archived from the original on 2011-09-05. Retrieved 2012-05-31.
- Harris, Dena (2015). The Paleo Vegetarian Diet: A Guide For Weight Loss And Healthy Living. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press. p. 18. ISBN 9781612434629.
- Small, Ernest (2009). Top 100 Food Plants. Ottawa: NRC Research Press. pp. 174. ISBN 9780660198583.
- Jacobson, Michael F. (2017-03-06). "Burying the Snackwell Myth". Medium. Retrieved 2019-09-30.
- Lucas W. Davis: 'Durable Goods and Residential Demand for Energy and Water: Evidence from a Field Trial'. The RAND Journal of Economics Vol. 39, No. 2 (Summer 2008), pp. 530-546. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25474381
- "Flex Your Power Energy News - Power Plug » the Snackwell Effect: Consumers Sabotage Energy-Saving Efforts". Archived from the original on 2010-03-26. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
- https://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2009-03-22-energysavings_N.htm[bare URL]