Economic Stressors and the Demand for "Fattening" Foods
Trenton Smith ()
No 2011-1, Working Papers from School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University
A broad and growing literature suggests that uncertainty with respect to income, employment, and/or the financial resources necessary to buy food may cause people to gain weight. The theory—inspired by theory and evidence from behavioral ecology—posits that economic insecurity triggers a physiological fattening response, but the mechanisms by which weight gain occurs (e.g., physical activity, caloric intake, dietary quality, basal metabolism, depression) are not known. This paper reviews and synthesizes evidence supporting a dietary quality mechanism, in which economic insecurity triggers a shift in food preferences toward “fattening” foods. Interestingly, the foods to which individuals appear to be drawn under these circumstances are those which the anthropological evidence suggests would have been eaten (in pre-industrial societies) during periods of seasonal food scarcity
Keywords: obesity; glycemic effects; stress; evolution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D11 D87 I12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 18 pages
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http://faculty.ses.wsu.edu/WorkingPapers/TSmith/wp2011-1.pdf First version, 2011 (application/pdf)
Journal Article: Economic Stressors and the Demand for "Fattening" Foods (2012)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:wsu:wpaper:tgsmith-8
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