Consumption stereotypes and impression management: how you are what you eat.
ABSTRACT Consumption stereotypes refer to judgments about others based on their food intake. We review the empirical research on stereotypes based on what and how much people eat. The characteristics stereotypically associated with food intake pertain to domains ranging from gender roles and social appeal to health and weight. For example, people who eat "healthy" foods and smaller meals are seen as more feminine; conversely, those who eat "unhealthy" foods and larger meals are seen as more masculine. We further discuss how these stereotypes can be exploited by the eater to convey a particular impression (e.g., femininity, social appeal). Finally, we discuss the ways in which using food intake as an impression-management tactic can lead to chronic food restriction and unhealthy eating habits.
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ABSTRACT: A major determinant of human eating behavior is social modeling, whereby people use the eating of others as guide for what and how much to eat. We review the experimental studies that have independently manipulated the eating behavior of a social referent (either through a live confederate or remotely) and measured either food choice or intake. Sixty-nine eligible experiments (with over 5800 participants) were identified that were published between 1974 and 2014. Speaking to the robustness of the modeling phenomenon, 64 of these studies have found a statistically significant modeling effect, despite substantial diversity in methodology, food type, social context and participant demographics. In reviewing the key findings from these studies, we conclude that there is limited evidence for a moderating effect of hunger, personality, age, or weight or the presence of others (i.e., where the confederate is live vs. remote). There is inconclusive evidence for whether sex, attention, impulsivity and eating goals moderate modeling, and for whether modeling of food choice is as strong as modeling of food intake. Effects with substantial evidence were: modeling is increased when individuals desire to affiliate with the model, or perceive themselves to be similar to the model; modeling is attenuated (but still significant) for healthy-snack foods and meals such as breakfast and lunch, and modeling is at least partially mediated through behavioral mimicry, which occurs without conscious awareness. We discuss evidence suggesting that modeling is motivated by goals of both affiliation and uncertainty-reduction, and outline how these might be theoretically integrated. Finally, we argue for the importance of taking modeling beyond the laboratory and bringing it to bear on the important societal challenges of obesity and disordered eating.Appetite 01/2015; 86:3-18. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2014.08.035 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this work is to explore the relation between morality and diet choice by investigating how animal and human welfare attitudes and donation behaviors can predict a meat eating versus flexitarian versus vegetarian diet. The results of a survey study (N=299) show that animal health concerns (measured by the Animal Attitude Scale) can predict diet choice. Vegetarians are most concerned, while full-time meat eaters are least concerned, and the contrast between flexitarians and vegetarians is greater than the contrast between flexitarians and full-time meat eaters. With regards to human welfare (measured by the Moral Foundations Questionnaire), results show that attitudes towards human suffering set flexitarians apart from vegetarians and attitudes towards authority and respect distinguish between flexitarians and meat eaters. To conclude, results show that vegetarians donate more often to animal oriented charities than flexitarians and meat eaters, while no differences between the three diet groups occur for donations to human oriented charities.Meat Science 01/2015; 99:68–74. DOI:10.1016/j.meatsci.2014.08.011 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify psychosocial factors that influence fast-food consumption in urban and rural Costa Rican adolescents. METHODS: A self-administered questionnaire designed for the study asked about sociodemographic information, frequency of fast-food consumption, meaning of "fast food," location of purchase, and psychosocial correlates. Five psychosocial factors were extracted by using principal components analysis with Varimax rotation method and eigenvalues. Descriptive statistics and a hierarchical linear regression model were used to predict the frequency of fast-food consumption. RESULTS: Responses from 400 adolescents (ages 12-17 y) reveal that daily consumption of fast food was 1.8 times more frequently mentioned by rural adolescents compared with urban youth. Urban and rural differences were found in the way adolescents classified fast foods (rural adolescents included more traditional foods like chips, sandwiches, and Casado-a dish consisting of rice, black beans, plantains, salad, and a meat), and in purchasing locations (rural adolescents identified neighborhood convenience stores as fast-food restaurants). Living in rural areas, convenience and availability of foods, and the presence of external loci of control were predictors of a higher frequency of fast-food consumption, whereas health awareness predicted a lower frequency. CONCLUSIONS: The development of interventions to reduce fast-food consumption in Costa Rican adolescents should consider not only convenience, but also the availability of these foods where adolescents are more exposed, particularly in rural areas. Interventions such as improving the convenience of healthy fast foods available in school canteens and neighborhood stores, policies to increase the price of unhealthy fast food, and activities to provide adolescents with the skills to increase self-efficacy and reduce the effect of external loci of control are recommended.Nutrition 05/2013; 29(7-8). DOI:10.1016/j.nut.2013.01.021 · 3.05 Impact Factor