Daily stressors and Food Choices: A Lab Experiment with Low-SES Mothers

Nicolai Vitt, Jonathan James, Michèle Belot*, Martina Vecchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

We investigate experimentally the effects of daily-like stressors on immediate and planned food choices, in a sample of low socioeconomic status (SES) mothers. We design a novel stress protocol that aims to mimic everyday stressors experienced by low socioeconomic status individuals. The protocol consists of budget and time allocation tasks to be performed under time and financial pressure. Immediate consumption is measured with in-laboratory consumption of low calorie and high calorie snacks; planned consumption is measured with an incentivized food shopping task. We find no evidence of a significant effect of the stressor on planned food consumption. We do find a notable increase in high-calorie snacking following the stress protocol but it is not precisely estimated. Overall, we find little support for the hypothesis that daily-life stressors induce unhealthy food choices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103754
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Volume136
Early online date10 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project is funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme, under grant agreement no. 607310. Nicolai Vitt further gratefully acknowledges funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, award 1651922. We thank EssexLab and the Università degli Studi di Firenze for allowing us to use their facilities, and Daacro Lab for the analysis of the saliva samples. We are grateful to Anne Banks, Rossella Corridori and Margherita Fabbri for their assistance with this project. We furthermore thank Ioan Balaban, Francesco Colombo, Nina Danilova, Rebecca Ravalli, Chiara Santantonio, Anamika Shaivya, Dragos Gruia, Iulia Popescu, Michael Zelenka, Roxana Dumitrescu, Shiobhan Low for their excellent research assistance. We thank Pablo Brañas-Garza, Francesca Cornaglia, Steven Dieterle, Daniela Glätzle-Rützler, Lorenz Götte, Silvia Maier, Mirko Moro, Arthur Schram, Daniel Schunk, Christiane Schwieren, Trent Smith, Andreas Steinhauer, as well as seminar participants at the Nudge-It meetings, the SGPE, SES, ESPE and EALE conferences, the Economics at Panmure House workshop, and at seminars in Edinburgh, Heidelberg, York and the European University Institute for their helpful comments.

Funding Information:
This project is funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme, under grant agreement no. 607310. Nicolai Vitt further gratefully acknowledges funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, award 1651922. We thank EssexLab and the Universit? degli Studi di Firenze for allowing us to use their facilities, and Daacro Lab for the analysis of the saliva samples. We are grateful to Anne Banks, Rossella Corridori and Margherita Fabbri for their assistance with this project. We furthermore thank Ioan Balaban, Francesco Colombo, Nina Danilova, Rebecca Ravalli, Chiara Santantonio, Anamika Shaivya, Dragos Gruia, Iulia Popescu, Michael Zelenka, Roxana Dumitrescu, Shiobhan Low for their excellent research assistance. We thank Pablo Bra?as-Garza, Francesca Cornaglia, Steven Dieterle, Daniela Gl?tzle-R?tzler, Lorenz G?tte, Silvia Maier, Mirko Moro, Arthur Schram, Daniel Schunk, Christiane Schwieren, Trent Smith, Andreas Steinhauer, as well as seminar participants at the Nudge-It meetings, the SGPE, SES, ESPE and EALE conferences, the Economics at Panmure House workshop, and at seminars in Edinburgh, Heidelberg, York and the European University Institute for their helpful comments.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

Structured keywords

  • ECON Applied Economics
  • ECON CEPS Health

Keywords

  • DIET
  • accute stress
  • daily stressors
  • lab experiment

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