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A new study establishes a link between low socioeconomic status and increased meat consumption and, as a result, compromised health.
According to research, published in an academic journal Appetite, those with lower socioeconomic status buy and consume more meat than those with higher.
One of the main reasons for this is that meat is, and always has been, associated with wealth and social status.
Those who identified themselves as having lower socioeconomic status reported eating more meat due to societal ideas attached to it.
The study showed that the motivation came from “status they didn’t have”, rather “feeling hunger or power.”
Talk to Phys.org, Dr Zlatevska said: “There is a symbolic association between eating meat and strength, power and masculinity.
“It is traditionally a high-end food, presented for guests or as the centerpiece of festive occasions, so we wanted to better understand this link with status.”
The study’s authors – Dr Eugene Chan of Monash Business School and Dr Natalina Zlatevska of UTS Business School – say the data can be useful to doctors.
They argue that understanding the factors that influence meat consumption can help curb it.
Dr Chan said: “Our research shows that while eating meat seems to confer a sense of power and status, it may have health implications for those who consider themselves lower on the socio-economic ladder.”