Everyone who has ever turned to their friends Ben and Jerry for solace following a break-up is aware that painful emotions often lead to overeating. Yet when discussing the obesity epidemic among low-income families, policymakers tend to focus on more tangible factors, such as the cost and availability of healthy food.
Over the past few years, a number of researchers have begun pointing out this emotion blindness, suggesting the stress of poverty is an under appreciated underlying problem. Two new studies that confirm and refine this proposition have just been published.
A study from Scotland, published in the journal Appetite, demonstrates a connection between overeating and the anxiety that stems from income inequality. American researchers, writing in Psychological Science, find a link between growing up poor and a propensity to consume calories in the absence of hunger.
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