Daily stressors and food choices: A lab experiment with low-SES mothers

Nicolai Vitt, Jonathan James, Michèle Belot, Martina Vecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-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 (US)
Article number103754
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Volume136
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

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