Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 1–15

Influences of social groups on eating patterns: A study among young adults

  • Lisbet Øygard
  • Knut-Inge Klepp
Article

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which social groups influenced eating patterns among young adults, aged 23–26 years. The analyses are based on a study consisting of 703 individuals with social groups being made up by parents, siblings, partners, friends, and co-workers/fellow students. Perceived norms of social groups and social attachment to these groups were measured. Demographic variables included education, income, marital status, and whether participants had children. These variables were subsequently correlated with a food frequency measure. The most influential social factor for predicting eating patterns among young adults was perceived norms of partner. Educational level was also an important factor. These results support the Lifelong Openness Model which suggests that individuals remain open to persuasion from socialization agents throughout life.

Key Words

eating patterns young adults social groups education level Lifelong Openness Model 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aarø, L. E., Laberg, J. C., and Wold, B. (1995). Health behaviours among adolescents: towards a hypothesis of two dimensions.Health Educ. Res. 10(1): 83–95.Google Scholar
  2. Andersson, S. (1980).The Functions of Food (SWE), University of Stockholm Press, Stockholm.Google Scholar
  3. Andrews, T. (1991).A Socio-Cultural Study of Food Habits among Young People (NOR), Department of Sociology, University of Bergen.Google Scholar
  4. Aubert, W. (1981).Sociology (NOR), University of Oslo Press, Oslo.Google Scholar
  5. Bandura, A. (1977).Social Learning Theory, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.Google Scholar
  6. Blaxter, M., and Paterson, E. (1984). The goodness is out of it: The meaning of food to two generations. In Murcott, A. (ed.),The Sociology of Food and Eating, Gower, Aldershot.Google Scholar
  7. Bonke, J. (1992). Choice of food—Allocation of time and money, household production and market services. MAPP working paper No. 3, Project No. 12.Google Scholar
  8. Botten, G., and Bjerkedal, T. (1988). Differences in health-related behaviors in Norway, 1985 (NOR).J. Norweg. Med. Assoc. 2: 157–162.Google Scholar
  9. Bourdieu, P. (1984).Distinction. A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  10. Broman, C. L. (1992). Social relationships and health-related behavior.J. Behav. Med. 16: 335–350.Google Scholar
  11. Broom, L., Selznick, P., and Darroch, D. B. (1981).Sociology. A Text with Adapted Readings, 7th ed., Harper & Row, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Central Bureau of Statistics (1987).The Health Investigation 1985 (NOR), Oslo.Google Scholar
  13. Charles, N., and Kerr, M. (1988).Women, Food and Families, Manchester University Press, Manchester/New York.Google Scholar
  14. Cooley, C. H. (1909).Social Organization, Scribner, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Eriksen, S. H. (1994).A Socio-Cultural Study of Farmers' Food Habits (NOR), Doctoral dissertation, University of Trondheim, Trondheim.Google Scholar
  16. Gottfredson, M. R., and Hirschi, T. (1990).A General Theory of Crime, Stanford University Press, Stanford, CT.Google Scholar
  17. Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties.Am. J. Sociol. 78: 1360–1380.Google Scholar
  18. Hanson, B. S., Mattisson, I., and Steen, B. (1987). Dietary intake and psychosocial factors in 68-year-old men. A population study.Comp. Gerontol. 1: 62–67.Google Scholar
  19. Hayes, D., and Ross, C. E. (1987). Concern with appearance, health beliefs, and eating habits.J. Health Soc. Behav. 28: 120–130.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Hirschi, T. (1969).Causes of Delinquency, University of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  21. Ilmonen, K. (1986). Determinants in the modern choice of food.J. Consumer Stud. Home Econ. 10: 97–110.Google Scholar
  22. Jain, M. G., Harrison, L., Howe, G. R., and Miller, A. B. (1982). Evaluation of a self-administered dietary questionnaire for use in a cohort study.Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 36: 931–935.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Johansson, L., and Dahle, H. K. (1991). Changes in eating habits (NOR).J. Norweg. Med. Assoc. 26: 3199–3201.Google Scholar
  24. Kandel, D. B. (1984). On processes of peer influences in adolescent drug use: A developmental perspective. In Siberseisen, R., and Eyferth, K. (eds.),Integrative Perspectives on Youth Development: Person and Ecology, Springer Verlag, pp. 139–163.Google Scholar
  25. Kaplan, R. M., and Hartwell, S. L. (1987). Differential effects of social support and social network on physiological and social outcomes in men and women with Type II diabetes mellitus.Health Psychol. 6(5): 387–398.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Klepp, K. I., and Wilhelmsen, B. U. (1993). Nutrition education in junior high schools: Incorporating behavior change strategies into home economic courses.Health Educ. Res. 8(4): 547–554.Google Scholar
  27. Klepp, K. I., Wilhelmsen, B. U., and Andrews, T. (1991). Promoting healthy eating patterns among Norwegian school children. In Nutbeam, D., Haglund, B., Farley, P., and Tillgren, P. (eds.),Youth Health Promotion: From Theory to Practice in School and Community, Forbes, London, pp. 137–156.Google Scholar
  28. Klepp, K. I., Øygard, L., Tell, G. S., and Vellar, O. D. (1994). Twelve-year follow-up of a school-based health education program: The Oslo Youth Study.Eur. J. Public Health 4: 195–200.Google Scholar
  29. Krohn, M. D., Massey, J. L., Skinner, W. F., and Lauer, R. M. (1983). Social bonding theory and adolescent cigarette smoking: A longitudinal analysis.J. Health Soc. Behav. 24: 337–349.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Lau, R. R., Quadrel, M. J., and Hartman, K. A. (1990). Development and change of young adults' preventive health beliefs and behavior: Influence from parents and peers.J. Health Soc. Behav. 31(3): 217–305.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Loudon, D. L., and Della Bitta, J. (1993).Consumer Behavior, 4th ed., McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  32. Lunde, T. K., Wold, B. K., and Anderson, K. (1990).Healthy, healthier, healthiest? (NOR), SIFO Report No. 2.Google Scholar
  33. McIntosh, A., and Zey, M. (1989). Women as gatekeepers of food consumption: A sociological critique.Food Foodways 3: 317–332.Google Scholar
  34. McIntosh, A. W., Shifflett, P. A., and Picou, S. J. (1989). Social support, stressful events, strain, dietary intake, and elderly.Med. Care 27: 140–153.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Murcott, A. (1986). We eat what we are: beliefs about food and eating.J. Soc. Med. 23: 79–84.Google Scholar
  36. Nathan, S. P. D. (1970). Psychological observations of obese adolescents during starvation treatment.J. Am. Acad. Child Psychiat. 9: 722–740.Google Scholar
  37. National Nutrition Council (1994).Change and Development in the Norwegian Eating Habits (NOR), Oslo.Google Scholar
  38. Nes, M. K., Klepp, K. I., and Borgejordet, Å. (1993). Dietary intake in 13-year old Norwegian schoolchildren.Scand. J. Nutr. 37(4): 156–160.Google Scholar
  39. Pill, R., and Parry, O. (1989). Making changes—women, food and families.Health Educ. J. 48(2): 51–54.Google Scholar
  40. Silverstein, M., and Bengtson, V. L. (1991). Do close parent-child relations reduce the mortality risk of older patients?J. Health Soc. Behav. 32: 382–395.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Schneider, D. J. (1976).Social Psychology, Addison-Wesley, Reading MA.Google Scholar
  42. Simmel, G. (1971).On Individuality and Social Forms, University of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  43. Skinner, W. F., Massey, J. L., Krohn, M. D., and Lauer, R. M. (1984). Social influences and constraints on the initiation and cessation of adolescent tobacco use.J. Behav. Med. 4: 353–376.Google Scholar
  44. Tell, G. S. (1987).Epidemiology and Prevention of Chronic Disease Risk Factors in Adolescents: The Oslo Youth Study, Doctoral Dissertation, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo.Google Scholar
  45. Wingard, D. L. (1984). The sex differential in morbidity, mortality, and lifestyle.Ann. Rev. Public Health 5: 433–458.Google Scholar
  46. World Health Organization (1990). Study group onDiet, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases, Technical Report Series 797, World Health Organization, Geneva.Google Scholar
  47. Zaltman, G., and Wallendorf, M. (1979).Consumer Behavior: Basic Findings and Management Implications, John Wiley & Sons, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisbet Øygard
    • 1
  • Knut-Inge Klepp
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center for Health PromotionBergenNorway

Personalised recommendations