Socioeconomic status and Food Portion Size: Current Evidence and Future Directions
Much research has shown that lower socioeconomic status is associated with increased exposure to fast-food outlets, body weight, consumption of unhealthy foods, and risk of diet-related health conditions However, few studies have examined how socioeconomic status modulates the psychological factors that influence eating behaviour. In the first part of this talk, I will present the results of a recent large-scale online study (N = 511) which showed that participants with lower socioeconomic status intended to consume more unhealthy food than those with higher socioeconomic status, especially when presented with large portions. These findings suggest that food portion size could contribute to health inequalities by altering the psychological processes influencing consumption from large portions. In the second part of this talk, I will discuss a series of planned follow-up experiments that will further examine the mechanisms of how socioeconomic status modulates the effect of portion size on consumption. These studies will form the basis of a grant proposal to the ESRC.