Association between Subjective Social Status and Emotional Eating among US Latinx adults Open Access

Ector, Kenya (Spring 2022)

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Introduction: Subjective social status (SSS) is a predictor of psychological distress and cardiometabolic diseases independently from objective measures of socioeconomic status (SES). Lower SSS may act as a psychosocial stressor and affect emotional eating (EE). Although US Latinx adults often report low SSS, the association between SSS and EE has not been examined in this population. This study aimed to evaluate the association between SSS (past and current) and EE among US Latinx adults.

Methods: Data from the Latino Health and Well-being Study were used for this secondary analysis. The sample included 584 Latinx adults recruited from a community health center serving a predominantly Latinx community in Lawrence, MA. SSS was measured with the MacArthur scale using four different ladders (familial SSS from 0-12 years and 13-18 years, current neighborhood SSS-within Lawrence, and current societal SSS-within the US). EE was measured with the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire R18-V2 and was categorized into no, low, and high EE. Adjusted polytomous logistic regression models were used to examine the associations between each SSS measure and EE. 

Results: Approximately 73% of the participants were of Dominican heritage. Twenty-seven percent and 34% experienced low and high EE, respectively. In adjusted regression models, each unit increase in the current neighborhood SSS scale was associated with 11% lower odds of low EE vs. no EE (OR: 0.89; 95% CI (0.81-0.97)) and 14% lower odds of high EE vs. no EE (OR: 0.86; 95% CI (0.79-0.94)). Similarly, each unit increase in the current societal SSS ladder was associated with 10% lower odds of low EE vs. no EE (OR: 0.90; 95% CI (0.82-0.99)) and 16% lower odds of high EE vs. no EE (OR: 0.84; 95% CI (0.76-0.93)). Familial SSS at 0-12 years and 13-18 years were not significantly associated with EE.

Conclusions: In a sample of US Latinx adults, greater current neighborhood and societal SSS were associated with lower odds of low and high EE (vs. no EE), but past familial SSS was not. Future research is needed to confirm our findings and to evaluate potential mechanisms explaining the relationships between SSS and EE. 

Table of Contents

Chapter I: Background/Literature Review ...1

Chapter II: Manuscript...12





Chapter III: Conclusions, Implications, and Future Directions...23



Appendix: Supplementary Tables...46

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