Poster F24, Tuesday, March 28, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Implicit Associations Between Different Body Types and Foods in Women
Rebecca Lopas1, Natalie Ceballos1, Roger Samson1, Reiko Graham1; 1Texas State University
Research on stereotypes has focused largely on race; however, overweight individuals are also targets of bias. One stereotype is that overweight individuals over-eat due to a lack of willpower. The current study used an associative priming task to determine whether heavier bodies are associated with high-calorie foods. Fifty-two female participants (Mage = 23.0 years) provided information about their body mass index (BMI) and completed a priming task that consisted of body primes (male and female, heavier and thinner) and food targets (savory and sweet, high- and low-calorie), and rated the calorie content of the targets. Mixed ANOVAs were conducted on reaction times and accuracy with prime body type (heavy vs. thin), prime gender (male vs. female), and target category (high- vs. low-calorie) as within-subjects variables, and BMI group (underweight/normal weight vs. overweight/obese) as a between-subjects variable. Overall, participants were more accurate at identifying high-calorie (HC) foods primed by heavier bodies and faster to identify HC foods primed by female bodies, especially heavier women. Furthermore, while HC foods were identified more quickly when primed by heavy bodies, only HC savory foods were identified more slowly when primed by thinner bodies. These results support the notion that in women, heavier bodies are associated with high-calorie foods, savory foods in particular. In addition, they suggest that women (especially heavier women) are more likely to make associations between same-sex body types and foods, converging with research showing that unlike ethnic and racial minorities, overweight individuals do not hold favorable attitudes towards their in-group.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Person perception