Poverty, inequality, and increased consumption of high calorie food : Experimental evidence for a causal link
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Rising obesity represents a serious, global problem. It is now well established that obesity is associated with poverty and wealth inequality, suggesting that these factors may promote caloric intake. Whereas previous work has examined these links from an epidemiological perspective, the current paper examined them experimentally. In Study 1 we found that people experimentally induced to view themselves as poor (v. wealthy) exhibited increased calorie intake. In Study 2, participants who believed that they were poorer or wealthier than their interaction partners exhibited higher levels of anxiety compared to those in an equal partners condition; this anxiety in turn led to increased calorie consumption for people who had a strong need to belong. The findings provide causal evidence for the poverty-intake and inequality-intake links. Further, we identify social anxiety and a strong need to belong as important social psychological factors linking inequality to increased calorie intake.
Bratanova , B A , Loughnan , S , Klein , O , Claassen , A & Wood , R 2016 , ' Poverty, inequality, and increased consumption of high calorie food : Experimental evidence for a causal link ' Appetite , vol 100 , pp. 162–171 . DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.01.028
Copyright © 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.01.028
This research was supported by a grant of the Walloon Region awarded to a team of Université Libre de Bruxelles researchers, including the third and the forth authors (Belgium, FOOD4GUT, project # 1318148), and a fellowship from the Bureau des Relations Internationales (BRIC) of the Université Libre de Bruxelles awarded to the first author.
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