Eating Behaviour

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This is not applicable for non-Western cultures as they cant afford to have food preferences as food variety is very small.

Development of food preferences.

Familiarity and preferences- the role of learning

Benton (2002)- Babies like sweet tasting things and it has been found that sweet foods are affective in calming a distressed baby. This may be because we have a genetic food preference.

Birch and Marlin (1982)- found that two year olds who were exposed to a new food for six weeks increased the preference to that food. The children learned that the food was safe to eat (neophobia).

Birch (1999) suggested that we are born with the ability to associate food with consequences. In this way we learn whether the foods that are good or not.

Nicklaus et al (2004)- concluded that preferences in adolescence and early adulthood become influenced by exposure to vegetables.

Parental attitudes to food: If the mother is concerned of health issues then she will provide a healthy diet for her child whereas a mother who is unaware of this will not.

Ogden (2007) found a significant correlation between the diets of mothers and their children.

Lowe, Dowey and Horne (1998) found that by using admired peers can increase consumption of fruit and vegetables.

Ogden (2007) and Birch (1999) found that rewarding “good” food with “bad” does not work long term as it increases the desirability for the reward food and decreases the liking for the disliked food.

Food preferences in adults.

Attitudes to health

Ogden (2007)- noticed that adults were changing their diets due to the rise of health problems due to food containing more and more fats and sugars.

Social factors

Jamie Oliver

s campaign to change Britain eating habits was a slow progress which shows that its hard to change established attitudes to food.

Food and emotion.

The serotonin hypothesis: carbohydrate like chocolate contain the amino acid tryptophan, this is used by the brain to produce more serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are linked with depression.

Gibson (2006)- found that people who are depressed or stressed were more likely to eat more carbohydrates especially sugar. This is associated with better moods and more energy.

Glucose rapidly improves on cognitive performance. However when told that a glucose drink is a placebo the effect disappears. Our expectations override the actual intake of glucose.

The sweet taste of a glucose solution will make the pancreas produce insulin, in anticipation for the blood sugar level to increase. This happens with artificial sweeteners as well. Anticipation and expectation on the basis of learning and experience and vital parts of our feeding behaviour (Gibson, 2006).

A major effect on culture is the availability of different types of food. Eskimos live largely on seal meat because it is what is available. Even though the globalisation of the food market has expanded some remote communities diet there is still variation of diets. Wardle et al (1997) surveyed 16,000 young adults across 21 European countries and found that in


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