The impact of supermarket status on food choices and perceptions
ABSTRACT: Obesity levels are rising, and especially so in economically disadvantaged populations. People with low income live in poor neighborhoods were supermarket access and variety is limited, and tend to buy cheaper food that is often higher in calories. Hard discount supermarkets are associated with poverty, and unhealthy eating behaviors (Drewnowski, 2004). We investigated whether supermarket status could influence food choices. Participants were primed with either a high or low status supermarket and asked to chose between a relative healthy and unhealthy food option. When primed with a low status (vs. high status) supermarket participants more often chose the healthy option. Two follow-up studies were done to examine this unexpected finding. Results will be discussed in terms of supermarket attitudes, dietary restraint and individual socioeconomic status.