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
- 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.
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.
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.