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Unintended Consequences of Health Supplement Information Regulations: The Importance of Recognizing Consumer Motivations



Information regulation is intended to enhance consumer decision making. However, past studies raise concerns about the effects of such remedies. Using qualitative methods, this research provides a contextualized, in-depth view of consumer responses to information regulation. The dietary supplement industry provides an informative case for studying the unintended consequences of reducing market restraints. Our findings provide insight into the potential maladaptive behaviors that may accompany information remedies and highlight the importance of considering consumer motivations in regulation design. Real consumer protection can only be forged with an understanding of consumer biases and the unintended impacts likely from such policy intervention.