Factors Which Influence Eating Behaviour

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  • Created by: Andrew F.
  • Created on: 21-06-12 18:13
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Factors Which Influence Eating Behaviour ­ Andrew F
AO1's AO2's
1 Your parents have an intrinsic impact on
eating behaviours for many reasons.
Biologically, 50% of our genome comes from
each parent, so taste preferences can be
passed on in genes.
2 Preference for highenergy foods or essential 1 Supporting research for innate taste
nutrients such as sugars, fats and salt were preferences comes from Zimmer, who
adaptive several thousand years ago, even if conducted a study to test whether taste was
not necessarily for our society today. innate or learned. He found newborns much
preferred sucking pacifiers with sweet or salty
tastes, proving taste is innate.
2 However this research lacks mundane realism.
Just because a sweet pacifier is preferred to a
different tasting one, it does not necessarily
mean sweet foods are preferred to other foods.
3 Research into neophobia in children's eating
behaviours supports the biological approach
because it suggests that children are born with
a dislike for certain foods.
4 However, neophobia can be overcome by being
repeatedly exposed to the food, suggesting that
learning may in fact be responsible.
5 Although the biological approach is scientifically
sound, it must be labelled reductionist because
it fails to consider the effect of parents and
other influences have on the child as it
3 Another way parents affect the eating 6 To apply this knowledge, parents must model
behaviours of their offspring is through eating and enjoying healthy foods in sight of
learning, which can occur in two ways. The their children to ensure they develop healthy
first form of learning is called Social Learning preferences.
and involves copying behaviour in a three
step process ­ observation the child
observes, instigation the child tries the
behaviour, and regulation the behaviour
7 Also, knowledge of SLT has been utilised by
children's television shows and campaigns to
promote healthy eating. These campaigns use
other children or characters which children can
relate to.
4 The second form of learning is operant 8 The idea of learning a taste preference is
conditioning, which is more easily controlled associated with the behaviourist approach.
by parents. The frequency of any behaviour This is also reductionist because it is based on
can be altered by operant conditioning in one establishing inflexible S > R links and ignores
of four ways: removing a positive stimulus or any thinking.
adding a negative stimulus to punish or
adding a positive stimulus or removing a
negative stimulus to reward.
5 Peers possibly have an even greater effect 9 Birch developed the `peer modelling theory',
on an individual through learning than parents which supports the importance of peers due to
do. Social learning of eating behaviour occurs the combination of social learning and social
during communal consumption in a similar influence.

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Factors Which Influence Eating Behaviour ­ Andrew F
way as with parents. The difference is that
with peers, social influence also plays a part.
10 However this is deterministic because it does
not take in to account the child's free will over
their own eating behaviour.
6 A third source of eating behaviours is culture. 11 However, culture's affect on eating behaviours
For example, advertisements differ between is difficult to measure in areas where food is
cultures, therefore altering food preferences. extremely scarce.…read more


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