The Associations Between Pathogen Disgust Sensitivity, Meat Preference, Plant Preference, and a Lifetime Prevalence of Anorexia Nervosa in a Finnish Population
Lindroos, Amy (2021)
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Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a potentially debilitating mental illness with expensive treatment costs and oftentimes poor outcomes. Previous studies have found that having AN is associated with a vegetarian diet and that anxiety plays a role in food avoidance behavior, where ill individuals generally prefer low calorie foods over high calorie foods. The role of pathogen disgust sensitivity in meat and plant preference of AN individuals however has, to my knowledge, never been previously examined. The restriction of meat intake may be an adaptive response necessary to navigate food threats associated with pathogen risk at a time when the individual is more susceptible to disease. In the present study, the associations between pathogen disgust sensitivity, meat preference, plant preference and a lifetime prevalence of anorexia nervosa (AN-LTP) were examined. Individuals with AN-LTP were expected to prefer meats less than individuals without anorexia nervosa (non-AN); AN-LTP individuals were expected to prefer meats less than plants; and AN-LTP was expected to moderate the association between pathogen disgust sensitivity and food preferences. Data collection was conducted through survey methods as a part of the Genetics of Sexuality and Aggression project at bo Akademi University in Turku, Finland in 2019. For the present study, 8124 participants were included (416 women and 31 men with AN-LTP). Having AN-LTP was associated with different food preferences in comparison to non-AN individuals for men and women. Women with AN-LTP preferred meat less than plants, whereas for AN-LTP men, meat and plant preference did not differ. AN-LTP men preferred meats less than non-AN men. The AN-LTP and non-AN men groups did not differ in their plant preference. The AN-LTP women preferred meats less and plant more than non-AN women. Higher ratings of pathogen disgust sensitivity were associated with lower meat preference, and lower plant preference. No moderation of AN-LTP was found on the association between pathogen disgust sensitivity and meat and plant preference. Although food preferences differ between AN-LTP and non-AN individuals, the differences between the groups are not associated with differences in pathogen disgust sensitivity.
- 515 Psykologia