Social Modeling Effects on Young Women's Breakfast Intake
SourceJournal of the American Dietetic Association, 110, 12, (2010), pp. 1901-1905
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
Journal of the American Dietetic Association
Numerous studies have shown that the presence of others influences young women's food intake. They eat more when the other eats more, and eat less when the other eats less. However, most of these studies have focused on snack situations. The present study assesses the degree to which young women model the breakfast intake of a same-sex peer in a semi-naturalistic setting. The study took place in a laboratory setting at the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, during the period January to April 2009. After completing three cover tasks, normal-weight participants (n=57) spent a 20-minute break with a peer who ate a large amount or a small amount of breakfast or no breakfast at all. The participants' total amount of energy consumed (in kilocalories) during the break was measured. An analysis of variance was used to examine whether young women modeled the breakfast intake of same-sex peers. Results indicate a main effect of breakfast condition, F(2,54)=8.44; P<0.01. Participants exposed to a peer eating nothing ate less than did participants exposed to a peer eating a small amount (d=0.85) or large amount of breakfast (d=1.23). Intake in the Small-Breakfast condition did not differ substantially from intake in the Large-Breakfast condition. The findings from the present study provide evidence that modeling effects of food intake are weaker in eating contexts in which scripts or routines guide an individual's eating behavior.
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