A DRIVE THROUGH LIFE –
Feb. 25, 2023 – “Considering the deleterious consequences of food addiction (e.g., obesity and depression), the risk factors leading to adults’ food addiction warrant examination,” said study author Hope Zhou, a PhD student at the University of Macau.
“Understanding the psychological mechanism of food addiction from the perspective of life history may help evaluate and decrease one’s risks for food addiction. These results may yield a theoretical framework for the development of food addiction and practical insights for future food addiction intervention programs.”
The new study was based on life history theory, which seeks to explain how organisms allocate resources over their lifetime in order to maximize their reproductive success. The theory holds that one’s early life environment shapes internal strategies of how to allocate energy and resources.
Fast life history strategies in humans are characterized by early sexual activity, high risk-taking behavior, and impulsivity, along with short-term relationships, low investment in parenting, and a focus on immediate gratification.
Fast life history strategies are more likely to be favored in harsh and unpredictable environments. For example, children who grow up in poverty or in unstable family environments may be more likely to adopt fast life history strategies as a way to navigate through their difficult circumstances.