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Reasons for Unhealthy Eating - How Compensatory health beliefs and Personality are related to Eating Behavior

Natrop, L. (2015) Reasons for Unhealthy Eating - How Compensatory health beliefs and Personality are related to Eating Behavior.

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Abstract:Despite high risks of unhealthy food intake many people engage in unhealthy eating behavior. One reason why they do not succeed to fulfil a healthy diet may be caused by compensatory health beliefs (CHBs). CHBs are beliefs that the negative effects of an unhealthy behavioral choice can be compensated or neutralized by engaging in a healthy behavior. Some research shows a negative influence of CHBs on health. Little research focuses on eating-specific CHBs and on factors which may be related to CHBs. Therefore, this study refers to CHBs related to eating behavior and on personality as a possible factor which might have a moderating effect on CHBs and eating behavior. For the measurement of CHBs, eating behavior and personality an online survey was designed. The total sample consisted of 139 participants of whom the majority was student. The study shows that people who tend to eat healthier are holding less CHBs, because CHBs were related weakly but negatively to healthy eating behavior (r=-22). Personality did not moderate the relation between CHBs and eating behavior. But neurotic people are inclined to hold more CHBs, because Neuroticism was weakly positively related to CHBs (r=.20) and conscientious people tend to eat healthier, because Conscientiousness was weakly positively related to healthy eating behavior (r=.24). It can be concluded that CHBs and healthy eating behavior are related. Moreover, CHBs and eating behavior are related to personality. It might be effective to develop interventions which focus on the enhancement of Conscientiousness and the improvement of Neuroticism in order to reach healthier eating behavior.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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