The Relationship Between Socio-Economic Status and Eating Behaviours: Mediation Analyses of Impulsive, Reflective, Inhibitory Control Skills and Environmental Variables.
S. Fernandes-Machado1, F.F. Sniehotta1, A. Adamson1,3, M.J. Tovee2, V. Ara˙jo-Soares1
1Newcastle University, Institute of Health and Society, United Kingdom
2Newcastle University, Institute of Neuroscience, United Kingdom
3Newcastle University, Human Nutrition Research Centre, United Kingdom
This study aimed to analyse the direct relationship between socio-economic status (SES) and eating behaviours, as well as the indirect relationship via impulsive, reflective, inhibitory control and environmental variables. 262 adolescents aged 12-13 years old were assessed on their intention to eat (reflective measure), temptation (impulsive measure) and the availability at their home of fruit/vegetables (FV) and sweet/savoury (SS) snacks, as well as their inhibitory control. Immediate food choices were assessed through a Behavioural Choice Task and a 24h recall was used to assess frequency of FV and SS. SES was assessed via wage and ownership of home and car. Immediate food choices (whether FV or SS or both) were directly predicted by SES and indirectly predicted by temptation and inhibitory control. The only (direct) predictor of frequency of FV consumption was SES. There was no predictor of the frequency of SS. Results seem to indicate that social inequalities can determine FV consumption. Public health interventions aiming at FV consumption need to take this into account when designing interventions. Aim should be to decrease the health inequality gap.