Evolutionary Explanations for Food Preferences

  • Created by: rosannaaa
  • Created on: 05-04-18 09:39
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  • EVOLUTIONARY EXP FOR FOOD PREF
    • PREF FOR SWEET
      • Fructose is especially sweet and babies consume large amounts of it.
      • Fructose is a fast-acting sugar providing energy quickly, present in ripe fruit which was favoured food for our ancestors.
      • Jacob Steiner 1977 placed sugar on tongues of newborn humans and observed positive facial expressions. Newborns can even distinguish between different sugars.
    • PREF FOR SALT
      • Breast milk is low in salt, so this finding suggests they had not had a learned salt preference and that it is innate
      • Pref for salt taste appears in humans at around four months of age.
    • PREF FOR FAT
      • Quickly learning to prefer foods high in calories was advantage because calories provide energy important for survival.
      • Fat also contributes to palatability and appeals to other senses such as smell.
      • High calorie foods such as fat not as readily available to our evolutionary ancestors.
      • Taste pref for fat is the most efficient route to energy consumption.
    • NEOPHOBIA
      • NP diminishes when we learn specific foods will not poison us
      • Most pronounced in childhood, between two and six.
      • Birch 1999 suggests it appears at a time where children begin to explore their environments and encounter foods independently.
        • Humans have an innate predisposition and unwillingness to try anything new.
    • TASTE AVERSION
      • Innate predisposition to avoid potentially toxic foods
        • According to Seligmans 1971 theory of biological preparedness, we acquire certain taste aversions or fears more quickly than others.
      • Humans and animals are genetically hardwired to avoid these foods.

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