Obesity, Responsiveness to Food Marketing, and Taste Perception Before and After Bariatric Surgery

Prof. Yann CORNIL
Associate Professor
University of British Columbia, Sauder School of Business

Date: 11 March 2024 (Monday)
Time: 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Venue: E22-G015
Host: Prof. Fangyuan CHEN, Associate Professor in Marketing


Although food marketing is often accused of increasing population obesity, the relationship between individual responsiveness to marketing and obesity has yet to be established: Are people with obesity more responsive to food marketing and, if so, is it a stable trait or can it be reversed by bariatric surgery? In our research (part of it is published, another part is in review), we studied the responses to common marketing tactics in a group of women with obesity before, 3 months, and 12 months after bariatric surgery, as well as in two control groups (lean women, and women with obesity who were not seeking any treatment). People with obesity were initially more responsive to food marketing, but bariatric surgery reduced their responsiveness down to the level of lean people. We propose that this decreased responsiveness to marketing (i.e., external influences on food choices) may be due to increased internal preferences (or decreased indifference) for various food options after surgery.  Our findings provide novel insights into the role of marketing in obesity, and suggest that developing sensory and hedonic discrimination can be a pathway to decreasing the influence of marketing on food choices.



Prof. Yann CORNIL is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of British Columbia, Sauder School of Business. He received his Ph.D. in Marketing from INSEAD (France & Singapore) in 2015. Yann’s research focuses on food marketing, obesity, sensory perception, and sustainability. His research was published in leading academic journals in marketing (such as the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Marketing, and the Journal of Consumer Psychology), in psychology (such as Psychological Science, and Organization Behavior and Human Decision Processes), and in nutrition (such as Appetite). For his research, Yann received the 2021 Research Excellence Award (Junior Category) delivered by the Sauder School of Business, and was named an MSI Young Scholar by the Marketing Science Institute in 2021. He also was a winner of the 2023 AMA-EBSCO-RRBM Award for Responsible Research in Marketing.  Yann teaches in the Undergraduate, MBA, International MBA, and Master of Business Analytics programs of the Sauder School of Business; he was named a Top 40 Under 40 MBA Professor by Poets & Quants in 2019.

 All are welcome!