Eating Behaviour

My notes on Eating Behaviour module. AQA

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Culture and Food

Wardle et al (1997)

  • Surveyed the diets of 16,000 young adults across 21 countries
  • Mediterranean countries = Diets high in fruit and vegetables 
  • England and Scotland= Eat far fewer fruits and vegetables
  • Sweden, Norway and Denmark= Diets high in fibre
  • Portugal and Spain= eat mainly low fibre foods

Leshem (2009)

  •  Compared Bedouin Arab women living in desert encampments with those living in urban environments, and also urban Jewish women
  • Diet of Bedouins was very similar to that of desert- living Bedouins, they eat much more carbohydrates, proteins and salt that the Jewish women.
  • Later found Christians (living in the same area) eat les carbohydrates, protein and salt yet body mass was the same.
  • With equal access to foods, different ethic cultures have different diets.
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Mood and Food

There is a close link between food and our emotional state.

Serotonin Hypothesis: low mood= more pure carbs

Opiate hypothesis: Sweet food= boost mood

Benton (2002)-Even in babies sweet foods are effective in reducing distress.

Gibson (2006) - In times of stress or when we are distressed, there is often an increase in sugar and fat consumption. 

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Conclusion on factors effective food and eating be

  • Studies have shown that familiarity, parental attitudes, peers and media can all influence food preferences in children, and this has a strong link to adult food preferences.
  • Adult attitudes to food are also affected by media campaigns. There is a close link between food and mood, supported by research evidence on the effects of sweet foods on brain pathways of reward.
  • Eating behaviour varies across cultures. Although availability of food is important, research shows that there are significant cultural influences on diet. 
  • Adult attitudes to food are therefore a complicated mix of early and adult experiences, and social and cultural influences. 
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