Evolutionary Explanations for Eating Behaviour - Building Block

Here is the fourth building block for the Eating unit. This one may be more helpful because this is the question which came up in my actual exam, so you know that these points are credible. Like with the others, a lot of these studies aren't in the textbook but they are more memorable and interesting. They'll stick in your mind a lot better.

If anyone wants my anorexia building blocks then let me know - I won't upload them for now because these ones don't have any new studies. I used the textbook completely for them :)

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Building block: Evolutionary Explanations for Food Preference
AO / IDA Content of paragraph
AO1 In the EEA, we were hunter-gatherers. Food not consistently available and
used up energy searching whether found any or not.
Environment This and uncertainty about when will next eat meant favoured high energy
of Evolutionary content, typically found in sweet fatty foods.
Adaption Basic instinct to favour these foods to survive.
AO1 This evolutionary preference for energy dense food was beneficial in the EEA
when food supply was unpredictable.
Maladaptive Now maladaptive in developed countries. We have the same drive to eat but
Preferences food is now available all the time. Don't have to search for it or worry about
not having any.
Because of this, overconsume and become obese.
AO2 Gibson and Wardle ­ offered 4-5 year olds a selection of fruit and veg.
Found they naturally chose and preferred energy dense fruits and vegetables,
Preferences of such as bananas and potatoes, which would have helped survival.
Children Shows adaptive preference for energy density.
IDA Sclafani and Nissenbaum ­ rats were offered two drinks ­ some cherry,
energy dense drink, and some grape plain water.
Non-Human When they were later offered both flavours through plain water, the rats
Species - Rats preferred more cherry.
Evolutionary adaption to learn which food is high in energy. Associated
flavour with this, aiding survival.
AO2 Berridge found newborn babies show a pleasure response of lip smacking in
response to sweet foods, even though they haven't had time to learn this.
Pleasure Seen in other species as well (rats, monkeys etc.)
Response Reaction to sweet, energy-dense foods shows an innate preference for
AO2 A taste preference for high energy food is universal, so evolutionary.
However, there are also preferences that cannot be explained by evolution
Universality and are culturally influenced.
EG. Kimchi (a pickled cabbage) is very popular in Korea, but is low energy and
neither sweet nor fatty.
Shows evolution can be overwritten by culture.

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Building block: Evolutionary Explanations for Food Avoidance
AO1 In the EEA, poisonous foods tended to have bitter, sour flavour.
An innate taste aversion to these is adaptive, as prevents it being eaten and
Food poisoning ourselves. Works for gone-off meat too.
Avoidance in A near miss reinforces this dislike through negative reinforcement ­ if
the EEA become ill, this helps you learn to avoid the food.…read more


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