Next Article in Journal
Influence of Country Digitization Level on Digital Pandemic Stress
Previous Article in Journal
The Role of Psychological Inflexibility and Experiential Approach on Mental Health in Children and Adolescents: An Exploratory Study
 
 
Article

How Childhood Socioeconomic Status Impacts Adult Food Preference: The Mediating Role of Stress and Trait Appetite

by 1,* and 2
1
School of Business, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2R6, Canada
2
Centre for Research in Applied Measurement and Evaluation, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Amanda Sainsbury-Salis
Behav. Sci. 2022, 12(7), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12070202
Received: 14 May 2022 / Revised: 17 June 2022 / Accepted: 18 June 2022 / Published: 22 June 2022
Prior research has shown that adults who were raised in a low socioeconomic status (SES) environment are more likely to desire energy-dense foods. Research has also shown a positive correlation between current stress levels and the desire for energy-dense foods. We hypothesized that stress and trait appetite mediate the relationship between childhood SES and the desire for low and high-energy-dense foods. In this study, 311 adults participated in an online experiment in which they were shown images of five food items from each of the six major food categories (vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, meat/poultry, and sweets) and rated how desirable each food item is. Next, we asked a series of questions that identified the participant’s sex, early childhood socioeconomic conditions, and current stress level. We also identified whether the participants had a trait or state eating personality. A path analysis was used to confirm the hypothesis that stress plays a mediating role between SES and food preference, and that an orderly relationship exists between these variables. The results show the hypothesis was supported and that the results were statistically significant. Specifically, the results show that the desire for low and high-energy-dense foods is indirectly influenced by one’s early childhood environment, and that food desirability is mediated by both stress and trait appetite. In addition, this analysis showed that in some situations, stress can both increase and decrease the desire for high-energy-dense foods. These findings also contribute to our understanding of how environmental conditions (safe and harsh environments) affect appetite and the desire for low and high-energy-dense foods. It also provided a deeper understanding of how these food choices can be adaptive under different ecological conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: stress; eating; food; obesity; appetite; trait appetite; socioeconomic status; childhood; environmental harshness stress; eating; food; obesity; appetite; trait appetite; socioeconomic status; childhood; environmental harshness
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Swaffield, J.B.; Guo, Q. How Childhood Socioeconomic Status Impacts Adult Food Preference: The Mediating Role of Stress and Trait Appetite. Behav. Sci. 2022, 12, 202. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12070202

AMA Style

Swaffield JB, Guo Q. How Childhood Socioeconomic Status Impacts Adult Food Preference: The Mediating Role of Stress and Trait Appetite. Behavioral Sciences. 2022; 12(7):202. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12070202

Chicago/Turabian Style

Swaffield, Jim B., and Qi Guo. 2022. "How Childhood Socioeconomic Status Impacts Adult Food Preference: The Mediating Role of Stress and Trait Appetite" Behavioral Sciences 12, no. 7: 202. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12070202

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop