Subjective social status is associated with compensation for large meals – A prospective pilot study

Academic Article


  • Objectives: Subjective social status (SSS) is known to be inversely associated with obesity. Our objective was to determine if SSS is associated with eating behaviors that would predispose to weight gain, specifically, with inadequate compensation for excess energy consumed during a single large meal. Therefore, we conducted a pilot study to determine the association of SSS with 24-h energy balance, 24-h and post-lunch energy intake, changes in body composition and changes in adjusted resting energy expenditure on days when a high-energy lunch was consumed in free-living human subjects. Method: Female participants (7 normal weight and 10 overweight) consumed 60% of’ estimated 24-h energy requirements as a lunchtime meal in the laboratory for 14 days. Subjective social status was measured at baseline using the MacArthur Scale. Remote Food Photography Method was used to record food intake outside of the lab on days 1–2, 7–8, and 12–13. Associations of 24-h energy balance, 24-h and post-lunch energy intake, changes in adjusted resting energy expenditure and changes in percent body fat (measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry) with SSS were studied. Results: Mean (standard deviation) age and BMI were 36.29 (8.25) years and 26.43 (2.32) kg/m2, respectively. Lower SSS was significantly associated with positive energy balance (p for trend 0.002), and higher post-lunch energy intake (p = 0.02) when controlled for age and initial body mass index. Conclusions: Our pilot data show that lower SSS is associated with higher post-lunch energy intake, which is indicative of poor energy compensation following a large meal. Over a longer time period, this could result in fat mass gain. Studies that are of longer duration and well-powered are warranted to confirm our findings.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Appetite  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wijayatunga NN; Ironuma B; Dawson JA; Rusinovich B; Myers CA; Cardel M; Pavela G; Martin CK; Allison DB; Dhurandhar EJ
  • Start Page

  • 249
  • End Page

  • 256
  • Volume

  • 132