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J Behav Med. 1996 Feb;19(1):1-15.

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

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  • 1Research Center for Health Promotion, Bergen, Norway.


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.

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