The influence of experimental confederate peers on children's food intake: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Date

2022-02-01

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Elsevier, Appetite

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

Confederates influence eating behaviour. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been conducted on this topic, however, the majority have examined adults, or a combination of adults and children, therefore, an up-to-date meta-analysis is needed to examine the impact of confederate peers on children’s food intake. We systematically reviewed and meta-analysed the influence of confederate peers on children’s food intake in research using present and remote-confederates. Six publications summarising findings from seven studies were included in this review. One publication was excluded from the meta-analysis because it was not possible to extract the required data. The meta-analysis showed that children were influenced by confederate peers; eating more when exposed to a high-intake compared to a no or low-intake confederate. Larger effects were observed when children were exposed to a remote- than a present-confederate, and for studies using healthy snacks compared to high fat high sugar (HFHS) snacks. No difference in effect size was observed when children were exposed to a high- vs. low-intake confederate compared to a high- vs. no-intake confederate. In the narrative synthesis, confederate intake influenced children’s eating behaviour twenty-four-hours later, and possible moderators and a potential mechanism underlying the influence of confederates were identified. Caution is needed when interpreting the results, as the sub-groups were not compared statistically due to high heterogeneity, and a small number of studies were included in this review. Furthermore, all studies using the present-confederate design examined HFHS snack intake, therefore, it is unclear whether observed differences in effect sizes between present- and remote-confederates may be due to confederate or food type. Research is needed to further examine the influence of confederate peers on children’s food intake and to examine mechanisms and moderators.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.

Keywords

food intake, experimental confederates, children's food intake, eating behaviour, social influence

Citation

Sharps, M., Coulthard, H., Salvy, S., Ryan, S. AND Fallon, V. (2022) The influence of experimental confederate peers on children’s food intake: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Appetite, 169, 105863

Rights

Research Institute

Institute for Psychological Science