Chocolate advertisements showing slim, deliberately sexy models will actually put female buyers off, a new study says.
However, if a larger model is featured, women are less likely to feel guilty about eating.
Thinner models simply remind women that indulging in chocolate means they will never look like that, the report said.
Researchers at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow conducted a study in which they questioned 84 women aged 17 to 63 about their chocolate cravings and whether they felt guilty after eating it, before dividing them into three groups.
One group looked at images of slim models promoting chocolate, and the second saw adverts using larger models. The third group did not look at any images.
The researchers then repeated the questionnaires and found the group who had seen adverts featuring thinner models felt guiltier and were more likely to avoid chocolate than before.
“Chocolate advertisements often include models exemplifying an idealised female form,” the Daily Mail quoted the researchers as saying.
“Presumably, advertisers seek to convey the implicit message that eating this sweet is somehow conducive to enhanced physical attractiveness,” they said.
“Our findings indicate the use of thin models can increase craving but also increases avoidance and guilt,” they added.
The study was published in the journal Appetite.