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Food Insecurity Moderates the Acute Effect of Subjective Socioeconomic Status on Food Consumption.

Authors
  • Godsell, Sarah1
  • Randle, Michael1
  • Bateson, Melissa1
  • Nettle, Daniel1
  • 1 Centre for Behaviour and Evolution, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. , (United Kingdom)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
Volume
10
Pages
1886–1886
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01886
PMID: 31474915
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Experimentally inducing low subjective socioeconomic status (SSES) increases food consumption in standardized eating opportunities. Separately, food insecurity (FI) has also been shown to be associated with increased food consumption when a free eating opportunity is provided. Here, we assigned 123 adult volunteers to a low-SSES manipulation or a control condition, followed by an opportunity to consume snack foods. We measured FI prior to the experiment. Thus, our experiment served to replicate the effects of SSES and of FI on consumption, and also to establish whether these effects combine additively or interactively. The low-SSES manipulation increased food consumption, but only among participants who were food secure at baseline. Among food-insecure participants, the effect was reversed. This interaction was not predicted a priori and is presented as an exploratory finding. We also found evidence that both SSES and FI affected the hedonic evaluation of the snack foods, though the changes in evaluation did not mediate the changes in consumption. Our findings suggest that both FI and low SSES affect the consumption and evaluation of food. Their combined effects on consumption may be complex.

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