Why don't poor men eat fruit? Socioeconomic differences in motivations for fruit consumption
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Pechey, R., Monsivais, P., & Marteau, T. (2014). Why don't poor men eat fruit? Socioeconomic differences in motivations for fruit consumption. Appetite, 84 271-279. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.10.022
Background. There are well-documented inequalities in food consumption, with those of lower socioeconomic status (SES) having less healthy diets than those of higher SES. This study aimed to assess the extent to which differences in motivations for particular foods might explain socioeconomic differences in self-reported food consumption. Methods. Participants (n=732) rated their frequency of consumption and explicit liking of (enjoyment when consuming) fruit, cake and cheese. They also reported their motivations (e.g., health, hunger, price) for eating in general and related attributes associated with the investigated foods (healthiness, expected satiety and value for money). Participants were randomly assigned to complete an implicit liking task (Single Category Implicit Association Task) for one of the food categories. Analyses were conducted separately for each individual-level SES measure available (income, education, occupational group). Results. Lower SES and male participants reported eating less fruit, but no SES differences were found in consumption of cheese or cake. Analyses therefore focused on fruit consumption. In implicit liking analyses, results (for income and education) reflected the patterning seen in consumption, with lower SES and male participants liking fruit less. In terms of explicit liking, no differences were found by SES. SES differences (all indicators) were found for usual eating motivations, with higher SES and female participants more likely to agree that health and weight control motivated their overall food choices, but lower SES participants more likely to report that price motivated their choices. Relating these to specific perceptions of fruit, no SES-based differences were found in perceived healthiness of fruit, while significant interactions (but not main effects) were found in analyses of expected satiety after eating fruit (for income and education) and perceived value for money of fruit (for income and education). Neither liking nor perceptions of fruit were found to mediate the relationship between SES and frequency of fruit consumption. Conclusions. There is evidence for social patterning in motivation for food, but differences are modified by the choice of implicit or explicit measures. Further work should clarify the extent to which these motivations may be contributing to the social and gender patterning of diet quality.
socioeconomic status, liking, motivation, fruit, consumption
The study was funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme (Policy Research Unit in Behaviour and Health [PR-UN-0409-10109]).
Wellcome Trust (087636/Z/08/Z)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.10.022
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/246233
Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/