Evolutionary explanations for food preferences

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The evolution of food preferences:

The envorinment of evolutionary adaptaion (EEA) - This refes to the environment in which a species first evolved. 2 million years ago humans evolved in the African savannah. the adaptive problems faced by our ancestors in the EEA would have shaped early food preferences.

Evaluation: This can be tested by looking at related species that may face simular adaptive problems. After a period of starvation chimpanzees will head straight for fattiest foods avaliable.  

however not all food preferences can be traced back to the EEA for  example low cholesterol  and low fat foods we eat now would have been no advantage to ancestors, we only avoid them now as we know the health risks. 

Early diets - Humans were hunter gatherers and diet consisted of animals and plants in the environment around them.  Fatty foods would have been a preference to stay alive to provide energy. Recently humans are concerned with the nutritious values of foods however we usually end up eating colorie dense food which is not very nutritious. In EEA calories were not so pleniful so makes sense that humans evolved with a preference for them.


Gibson and Wardle 2001 presented 4-5 year old children with a selection of fruit and vegetables, the children most commonly chose bannanas and potatoes, so this was not on…


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