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PsY 472 Psychology of Food

PsY 472 Psychology of Food

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PsY 472 Psychology of Food

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  1. PsY 472 Psychology of Food

  2. Many Areas within Psychology • Sensation and perception • Cognition • Social • Clinical • Health • Developmental

  3. History of Healthy Eating • 1824—The Family Oracle of Good Health—United Kingdom • US in 1800s • Boer War Parent education classes about healthy diet • Great Depression in US • WWII

  4. Healthy Eating Food is divided into different groups Fruit and vegetables Bread, pasta, other cereals, potatoes Meat, fish, and alternatives Milk and dairy products Fatty and sugary foods

  5. Additional Recommendations • Balancing Calories Enjoy your food, but eat less. • Avoid oversized portions. • Foods to Increase • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. • Make at least half your grains whole grains. • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk. • Foods to Reduce • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals and choose the foods with lower numbers. • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

  6. The Role of Diet in Contributing to Illness • Diet and coronary heart disease • Incidence increased steadily from 1925 to 1977 (except for a dip in WWII) • Remains single largest cause of death in US • CHD involves three stages • Atherscerlosis—narrowing of arteries • Thrombosis—a blood clot—may result in sudden death, heart attack, angina • State of the myocardium—the impact of the clot depends on this

  7. Diet and Blood Pressure • Hypertension is one of the main risk factors for coronary heart disease and is linked with heart attacks, angina, and strokes • Salt • Recommend salt intake of less than 6g per day • 59% of salt that we consume is used in the processing of food • Alcohol • Heavy drinkers have higher rates of hypertension • Some benefits to drinking in light to moderate consumption • Micronutrients • Components of diet hypothesized to lower bp

  8. Diet and Cancer • Diet accounts for more variance in cancer than any other factor, even smoking • Two theories • Foods contain nonnutrients that trigger cancer (cause mutations) • Poor diets weaken defense mechanisms • Esophogeal cancer • Stomach cancer • Large intestine cancer • Breast cancer • Fiber and soy are protective

  9. Role of Diet in Treating Illness • Coronary Heart Disease • Lifestyle changes • Diabetes • Diet is central to both Type 1 and Type 2 • But improving self-care is difficult task • Social cognition theories are being used in interventions

  10. Children’s Diet • Correlations between children’s diet and diets later on • Also linked with later adult health • Western Hemisphere • Nicklas, 1995—majority of 10 year olds exceed American Heart Association recommendations for total fat, saturated fat, and dietary cholesterol • Other studies find inadequate intake of fruits and veggies—only 5% of kids exceed recommended intake • About 10% of kids in US are malnourished • Internationally, it is about 18%, with 30% in sub-Saharan Africa

  11. Young Adults • Eating habits are established in childhood • Wardle et al, 1997 • 16,000 male and female students 18-24 in Europe • 39% try to avoid fat • 2001 study in UK aged 19-24 • 98% ate less than 5 portions of fruit and veggies daily • Averaged 8-9 cans of soft drinks per week, up from 3-4 in 1986-1987 • Similar results seen in adults and the elderly

  12. Measuring Food Intake • Three primary ways: • In the laboratory • Self-report measures • “How often do you eat X?” • Observational methods

  13. Food Choice • Why do people eat what they eat? • Three basic ways to look at this today: • Developmentally • Cognitively • Psychophysiologically

  14. Developmental Models: Early Work • Davis, 1928, 1939 • Studied infants and young children in a peds ward • Had a strict feeding regimen • Offered 10-12 healthy foods and kids were free to eat what they chose • Children selected diet consistent with growth and health • Generated a theory of the “wisdom of the body”

  15. Developmental Models: Exposure • Need to consume variety of foods for a balanced diet • Yet show a fear or avoidance of novel foods--neophobia • This is the omnivore’s paradox • Mere exposure to novel foods can change preferences • Birch &Marlin (1982) gave 2 year olds novel foods over 6 weeks • Williams et al 2008 • Learned safety • Studies show just looking at novel foods is not enough to change preference—must taste

  16. Developmental Models: Social Learning • Peers • Duncker, 1938—social suggestion • Birch, 1980 • Salvy, 2007 • Parents • Adolescents are more likely to eat breakfast if their parents do • Correlation between child and parent emotional eating • Children select different foods when watched by their parents • Correlation between mothers’ and preschool kids’ food intakes for most nutrients • Not always in line with each other • Wardle, 1995—parents reported health as more important for kids than for themselves • Dieting mothers may feed more of the foods they are denying themselves to their children

  17. Developmental Models: Social Learning • The media • Radnitz et al, 2009 • Analyzed nutritional content of food on tv programs aimed at kids under 5 • Eyton The Plan F Diet • Halford et al, 2004 • Lean, overweight, and obese children were shown a series of food-related and non-food related ads • All children ate more after exposure to ads

  18. Developmental Models: Associative Learning • Rewarding food choice • Giving food in association with positive attention increases food preference • Food as a reward • If you’re well behaved, you can have a cookie • Food acceptance increased if food was presented as a reward • But not food preference… • Food and control • Restricting access and forbidding foods makes foods more attractive—Birch, 1999 • Food and physiological consequences

  19. Cognitive Models • Most research focuses on social cognition • Some of these look at behavioral intention; others at actual behavior • In general, the models incorporate • Attitude toward a given behavior • Risk perception • Perceptions of severity of the problem • Costs and benefits of a behavior • Self-efficacy • Past behavior • Social norms

  20. Intention-Behavior Gap • Attitudes are the best predictors of things like eating in fast food restaurants, use of table salt, healthy eating • Perceived behavioral control • Other factors like nutritional knowledge, perceived social support, and descriptive norms don’t add much to the model

  21. Psychophysiological Models • Hunger—a state that follows food deprivation and reflects a motivation or drive to eat • Satiety—the polar opposite • This approach looks at cognitions, behavior and physiology

  22. Metabolic Models • Homeostasis—beginning of 19th century • Walter Cannon • Biological variables are regulated within defined limits • Maintained via a negative feedback loop—we adjust behavior to meet needs • Set point • More recently—cellular energy

  23. Hypothalamus • Area of brain associated with feeding • Early clues—patients with tumors of the basal hypothalamus who became obese • Experimentally induced lesions to hypothalamus in animals

  24. Neurotransmitters and drugs • Neurotransmitters that increase intake • Norepinephrine • Neuropeptide Y • Galanin • Neurotransmitters that decrease intake • Serotonin • Bombesin • Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) • Cholecystokinin (CCK) • Psychopharmacological drugs • Nicotine • Amphetamine • Marijuana • Alcohol • Antipsychotic drugs • Tricyclics • SSRIs • Analgesics

  25. Food and Cognition • Caffeine • Carbohydrates • Chocolate • Stress and eating • Some research shows stress causes a reduction in food intake • Some research shows an increase in eating by females but not males • Mindless eating • Can be good if used to encourage healthy eating

  26. The Meaning of Food • This includes… • Food classification systems • Food as a statement of the self • Food as a social interaction • Food as cultural identity

  27. Food Classification Systems • Levi-Strauss (1965) and Douglas (1966) argued that food can be understood as a deep underlying structure—common across cultures • Helman (1984)—5 types of food classification systems • Food vs. nonfood—what is edible and what is not • Sacred vs. profane food • Parallel food classifications • Food as medicine, medicine as food • Social foods • Alternatively, -- meaning of individual foods

  28. Food and Gender and Sexuality Cooking as a traditional female activity Lots of animal and food related words have meanings related to sex and men/women Lots of double meanings in food-related activities Cecil (1929)— 19th and early 20th centuries Low-meat diets were recommended to discourage masturbation in males

  29. Food and Gender • Eating versus denial • Charles & Kerr (1986, 1987) • Studied 200 mothers in northern England • Silverstein et al, 1986 • Studied images in magazines • Men’s—10 food ads, 10 sweet ads, 1 diet food ads • Women’s –1,179 food ads, 359 food ads, 63 diet food ads

  30. Food and Guilt, and Self-Control • Some foods are associated with conflict between pleasure and guilt • Food and self-control • Fasting as a religious act • 19th century—hunger artists • Anorexia

  31. Food as a Social Interaction • Dinner table is often the only place where the family gets together • Tool for communication—Forum for sharing experiences • Sense of group identity • The meal as love • Power relations

  32. Food as Cultural Identity • Food as religious identity • Rituals of food preparation provide a sense of holiness in daily domestic work • Food as social power • Powerful individuals eat well and are fed well by others • Statement of social status • Hunger strikes

  33. Marketing of Food • Exposure to food advertisements • FTC reported that average child (2-11) sees 15 television food ads per day • 5500 per year • Adolescents see about 5% fewer • Powell et al, 2007 • About 28% of ads viewed by African American kids and 25% of ads viewed by white kids are for food.

  34. Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative • 2004—marketers vowed decrease • 2006---Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), • Abstain from advertising or to advertise only “better- for-you” foods to children under the age of 12 years. • Some loopholes exist • In 2008, results indicated that food advertising to children was down about 4% (1/2 ad) from 2002, and down 13% from 2004 peak • An update in 2010 showed increases in many of the ads that were on the decline in 2008

  35. Better for You Foods • Kid Cuisine Deep Sea Adventure Fish Sticks • Kid Cuisine KC’s Primo Pepperoni Double Stuffed Pizza • Chef Boyardee Microwave Bowls - Bite Size Beef Ravioli • Chef Boyardee Two Pepperoni Pizza Kit • Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter • Peter Pan Crunchy Peanut Butter • Cinnamon Toast Crunch • Cocoa Puffs • Cookie Crisp • Honey Nut Cheerios • Chocolate Lucky Charms • Reese’s Puffs • Trix • Yoplait Go-Gurt Fruit Flavors • Fruit Roll-Ups • McDonalds , USA • Chicken Nuggets Happy Meal • 4 Piece Chicken McNuggets • Apple Dippers with Low-Fat Caramel Apple Dip • 1% Low-Fat White Milk • Hamburger Happy Meal • Hamburger • Apple Dippers with Low-Fat Caramel Apple Dip • 1% Low-Fat White Milk • Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes® (all flavors) • Froot Loops® (all flavors except marshmallow) • Apple Jacks® • Rice Krispies® (all flavors) • Cocoa Krispies® • Eggo® Waffles (all flavors except Chocolate Chip) • Gripz® Cookies

  36. What do parents think? (Rudd Center, 2010) • Low awareness of food marketing and its impacts on kids • Believe that limiting exposure to food marketing is a parents job • Some positive attitudes toward marketing. • Enjoyed seeing idealized families in ads • Believed that advertising can be fun and informative • Some advertising promotes foods that are • But…annoyed that marketing often makes their children demand certain foods

  37. Public Perceptions (Rudd Center, 2009) • Reported that children saw marketing for unhealthy foods less often than they do and for healthy foods more often than they do • Reported that children saw food marketing on television most frequently, followed by characters on packages, logos on other products, and product placements, and least frequently through text messages. • Underreported how frequently children saw this marketing

  38. Solutions Elsewhere • Solutions at the Government Level: Countries that have already implemented the particular solution • Ban advertising to children in general Sweden (under age 12) Quebec (under age 13) • Ban TV advertisements during breaks for Denmark all programs France (on state-owned channels) • Ban junk food advertisements during Britain children’s TV programs (age 16 and under) • Ban TV advertisements in general during Austria Norway Denmark children’s programs Belgium Sweden • Ban TV advertisements right before and Belgium after children’s programs Sweden • Create a law indicating that advertisements France for unhealthy foods must accompany nutrition message disclaimers

  39. How does this affect children’s behavior? • Messages in food ads • Snacking at nonmeal times in 58% of ads • Only 11% of food ads are set in kitchen, dining room, or restaurant • Effects of food marketing exposure • Increases preferences for foods and requests to parents for those foods • Increases consumption in the short term • Most studies are on television ads • Often in lab settings, for example… • Quebec • Indirect effects

  40. Mechanisms of Food Marketing Effects • Generally assumed to follow an information-processing approach • Marketing effects follow a path from exposure to behavior • Mediated by preferences, attitudes, and beliefs about the products • Related—greater cognitive maturity reduces the effects as kids become able to defend against marketing messages

  41. This Model is Limited • But these ideas were developed in 1970s, and times have changed • For example, marketers work to create brand images and associations, not only to create the belief that their product is superior • Associations are developed over a long time • Food marketing may also serve as an environmental cue • Old assumptions about the age of children and the effect of ads may also be wrong

  42. The Meaning of Size Media Representations • Paek et al 2011—Study of television ads across 7 countries • Males featured in prominent auditory and visual roles • Women still generally in stereotypical roles • Glascock & Preston-Schreck, 2004 • Studied 50 comic strips over a month • Gender roles –stereotypical • Newspapers • Television—Desmond and Danielewicz, 2010 • Female reporters—more likely to present human interest and health-related stories • Male reporters—more likely to present political stories • Magazines—Spees and Zimmerman, 2002 • Belief that boys are stronger/more athletic in 41% • Belief that appearance is important for girls in 54%

  43. Images of Female Body Size and Shape • Ideal woman’s body has become smaller over the past century • Rubenesque—1600s—reproductive figure • 1800s—Courbet • Manet’s Olympia of 1863—

  44. Modern History • Current preference goes back to flapper look of 1920s • Some respite after WWII—Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell • End of 1950s—Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly • 1960s—Twiggy • Spitzer et al 1999 • Compared mean body mass indices from 18-24 yo from 11 national health surveys to Miss America and Playboy models and Playgirl models • From 1950s to 1990s • Over decades, body sizes of Miss American decreased significantly, Playboy models were below normal weight • Playgirl models increased—due to muscularity • If the average woman wanted to look like Barbie, she would have to be 24 inches taller, make her chest 5 inches bigger, her neck 3.2 inches longer, and decrease her waist by 6 inches

  45. Images of Male Body Size and Shape • Greek and Roman art • Male body does not exist quite as much as an object of idealization until fairly recently • Male models are increasingly hairless, well toned, and narrow hipped • To be Ken, be 20 inches taller, chest 11 inches larger, neck 7.9 inches thicker

  46. The Meaning of Sex • Classic work on sex stereotypes • 1960s and 1970s • Clear consistency about what a hypothetical man or woman should be like • Women—warm, expressive, sensitive • Man—active, objective, independent, aggressive, direct

  47. Meaning of Size: Quantitative • Cross-cuturally, people of all ages and both sex stigmatize and discriminate against obese people • Rated as more unattractive, lacking in self-discipline, unpopular • Less active, intelligent, hardworking, successful, athletic, or popular • Fat women are judged more negatively than fat men • Stereotypes are independent of the body size of the person doing the rating • Associations develop at a young age • Hansson and Rasmussen, 2010

  48. Meaning of Size: Qualitative • Control • Ability to control self indicates will power, resisting temptation • Control of inner world over consumerism • Freedom • Thinness provides some freedom from class • Freedom from reproduction • Success • Not consistent across cultures • Mco, Dick, &Steyn, 1999—Cape Town, South Africa • Studied overweight poor black women • Placed high value on food—food was often scarce, so voluntarily regulating food would be unacceptable • Overweight kids seen as a sign of health • Similar findings in other poor countries

  49. Why are the obese and overweight judged so negatively in the West? • Viewed as fault of person • Obese may be viewed as overweight to compensate for other problems • Simply gluttonous • Women are viewed more positively if they eat lightly in public