The Effects of Health Value on Healthful Food Selection at Restaurants: Considering the Role of Attitudes Toward Taste and Healthfulness of Healthy Foods

Jinhyun Jun, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Juhee Kang, University of Central Florida
Susan Wohlsdorf-Arendt, Iowa State University


This study investigated restaurant customers’ intent to choose healthful (e.g., low-fat or low-calorie) menu items using the value–attitude–behavior model. The sample was comprised of customers who had previously consumed these types of healthful items at a casual dining restaurant. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze data. Results revealed that customers’ health values had a positive effect on attitudes and behavioral intentions and that customers’ attitudes toward low-fat or low-calorie menu items positively influenced behavioral intentions. However, attitudes toward taste of healthful menu items exerted a greater impact on behavioral intentions to choose, recommend, and spread a positive word-of-mouth about those menu items. To meet customers’ desire, restaurants should continue to focus on great-tasting healthful foods.