Life-History Strategy, Food Choice, and Caloric Consumption

Juliano Laran, Anthony Salerno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Do people's perceptions that they live in a harsh environment influence their food choices? Drawing on life-history theory, we propose that cues indicating that the current environment is harsh (e.g., news about an economic crisis, the sight of people facing adversity in life) lead people to perceive that resources in the world are scarce. As a consequence, people seek and consume more filling and high-calorie foods, which they believe will sustain them for longer periods of time. Although perceptions of harshness can promote unhealthy eating, we show how this effect can be attenuated and redirected to promote healthier food choices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • evolutionary psychology
  • food
  • health
  • life-history theory
  • self-control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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