Evolutionary explanations for food preference

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  • Created by: Grace
  • Created on: 10-01-13 18:46
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  • Evolutionary explanations for food preference
    • First explanation = Taste and smell
      • Garcia et al - found that rats who became ill after eatingsaccbarin very quickly associated that food with the illness and did not eat it again.
        • Supports that our ancestors survived through knowing what food is okay - passed it onto new generations.
          • X - Learning theory - CC they associated food with illness. If it was adaptive they would not have eaten it in the first place. X- Animal study can this be generalised to humans>
    • Food preference has evolved and developed to give us an advantage. Our system has learnt to accept food we need and reject what we do not.
    • Better explanation = Genetics
      • Perry et al - in cultures that have a starch based diet (e.g. rice eating Japan) they had more copies of the AMY1 gene which is needed to digest starch. In contrast the Yakut of the Arctic have low starch diets = less copies of AMY1 gene.
        • Clearly shows how evolution has changed our genetics to benefit us - they have developed according to the food that is around us.
        • BUT they only tested 2 very specific cultures - cannot generalise. But done on humans which is better.
    • Can conclude that perhaps our genetics have adapted and created a base for us to learn new things BUT does not explain all like why the rats ate it in the 1st place.
      • need behaviural to explain why we like certain tastes. e.g. choc - given as a treat when young = choc when good. AND gives you high energy and carbs which gives us an advantage :)


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