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An exploration into the effects of stress on individual eating behaviour

Al-Afaleq, Hanna (2013) An exploration into the effects of stress on individual eating behaviour. York St John University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of stress on individuals’ eating behaviours. The study was a cross-sectional, between-subjects design, by which data were collected by use of an online survey. A total of 261 undergraduate participants were recruited by use of opportunity sampling. Participants were asked to complete two questionnaires, administered online. One measure aimed to establish individual’s perceived stress levels, while the other examined their specific eating behaviours, both their typical eating patterns and current eating patterns. Significant differences in unhealthy eating changes were found between participants experiencing low levels of stress, and participants experiencing high levels of stress. Common increases and decreases of intake of food types, when stressed, were found. Significant correlations between a number of potential stressors were also found, including ‘education’, ‘work-life’ and ‘finances’. The findings of this study have supported a range of previous research findings, regarding changes to eating behaviour. Strengths, limitations and suggestions for future improvements of the present study are discussed.

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