Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Social Class Has Major Influence On Teenagers' Diet And Weight, Study Finds

Date:
May 11, 2009
Source:
University of Hertfordshire
Summary:
Differences in social class influence the eating habits, weight and health of young people, new research reveals.

Research just released by academics at the Universities of Hertfordshire and Edinburgh has revealed that differences in social class influence the eating habits, weight and health of young people.

The study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and entitled Parents’ and Teenagers’ Conceptions of Diet, Weight and Health: Does Class Matter, was led by Dr Wendy Wills at the University of Hertfordshire’s Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care (CRIPACC) in conjunction with researchers at the University of Edinburgh.

“This study has shown that experiences and conceptions relating to diet, weight and health are driven by class-based distinctions and tastes,” said Dr Wills. “It shows that working-class practices are based on a need to ‘get by’ which impedes a future-orientated outlook, whereas the middle classes are able to prioritise future-relevant behaviours relating to diet, weight and health because of their more socially and economically secure family lives. These findings are important in helping us to understand why inequalities in diet, health and weight continue to persist.”

Young people aged 13-15 years were interviewed for the research; half of those selected were overweight or obese. Parents were also interviewed.

Findings were compared with an earlier study of the same design which the researchers had previously conducted with families from lower social class groups.

The researchers found that most of the middle-class parents and teenagers interviewed expressed few worries about their daily lives, had few concerns about money and they assumed that they would be able to make choices and fulfil their aspirations in life.

On the other hand, the lives of the working-class families in the previous study, were characterised by risk, insecurity and a strong focus on the ‘here and now’ where ‘getting by’ takes priority over diet and weight.

Other key findings were that teenagers developing autonomy in relation to being able to make their own food decisions were important markers of ‘being’ working class; that middle-class families displayed their aspirations about the future through expecting young teenagers’ tastes to diversify and their bodies to be active and ‘thin’ enough to participate in adult life and that working-class families, whilst sometimes displaying a desire to invest in their children, simply do not have the capital required to make such changes to lives lived in the context of risk and insecurity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Hertfordshire. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Hertfordshire. "Social Class Has Major Influence On Teenagers' Diet And Weight, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090506093847.htm>.
University of Hertfordshire. (2009, May 11). Social Class Has Major Influence On Teenagers' Diet And Weight, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090506093847.htm
University of Hertfordshire. "Social Class Has Major Influence On Teenagers' Diet And Weight, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090506093847.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins