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Attitudes to Food and Eating Behaviour:
Social Learning Theory:
Attitudes to food and eating behaviours can be as a result of social learning. This can happen two ways: through parental
modelling or through the effect of media
1. Parental Modelling: Children learn eating behaviour and attitudes to food from observing their parents and other
role models via vicarious reinforcement. Some foods are seen as a reward and these are the foods that initiate a
pleasure response.…read more

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Powell and Khan (1995) said that eating disorders and body dissatisfaction were more common amongst
white women than black or Asian women.
b. Ball and Kenardy (2002) studied over 14000 women ages 18-23 in Australia. They found that for all ethnic
groups, they longer they stayed in Australia, the more the women adopted the Australian eating behaviours.…read more

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Explanations for the Success and Failure of Dieting:
There have been three forms of dieting that have been identified. These include: a) restricting the total amount of food
eaten (e.g. calorie counting or using a point system); b) refraining from eating certain types of food (e.g. cutting down on
particular food groups); c) avoiding eating for long periods of time.…read more

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April and Rozin (1985) said that females perceptions of body images place pressure on
them to lose weight whereas men are more likely to be satisfied with their figures.
Mental Control:
The mental control of the individual on the diet has been found to be an important factor in whether or not they are able
to diet successfully. Wegner et al (1987) asked participants to not think about a white bear and to ring a bell if they did.…read more

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Neural Mechanisms in Eating and Satiation:
Humans, in order to function and survive, need food. It makes sense that we have mechanisms which let us know when
we need more energy input (hunger) and when we have enough (satiety).
This is the mechanism involved with detecting changes to the internal environment and taking biochemical measures to
change these back to their optimum level. However, there is a significant time lag between mechanisms operating to
restore equilibrium and the body registering the effect.…read more

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AO2 Evaluation Points:
Reductionist: they only use the role of biology to explain eating and satiation and also fail to explain the role of
situational factors or psychological factors
Deterministic: states that humans have no free will with regards to when they eat due to hunger and when they stop
Implications: This can have real world implications for individuals who are overweight taking no responsibility for their
weight, by stating it is something to do with their biology.…read more

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Evolutionary Explanations for Food Preference:
To understand the adaptive responses faced by our distant ancestors, we need to be able to understand the
environment in which they lived. The environment of evolutionary adaption (EEA) refers to this environment ­ the
environment in which a species first evolved. Humans, thousands of years ago are likely to have lived in hunter-gatherer
societies. In order to survive, early humans would have to have had diets high in sugar, fat and salt.
1.…read more

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Bernstein and Webster (1980) gave patients a novel tasting ice cream and found that they associated the
novel ice cream to the chemotherapy. When the patient was given familiar and unfamiliar food to eat, they
found that the unfamiliar food was associated with the chemotherapy.
AO2 Evaluation Points:
Universal: there does seem to be a universal preference in the foods we eat, we like to eat sweet foods as children
and later fatty and salty foods.…read more

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Obesity can be defined in a number of ways which include population means, body mass index (BMI), waist
circumference and percentage of body fat (usually involves measuring skin fold thickness). However, there are issues
with these definitions. Calculating the BMI doesn't allow for differences in weight between muscle and fat (female
athletes may be classed as obese on the BMI scale but they aren't). In general, obesity is a risk factor for chronic health
problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure etc.…read more


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