Evolutionary explanations of food preference (comment and rate please)

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  • Created by: Econ123
  • Created on: 14-06-11 16:00

In our Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation (EEA), our ancestors were hunter gatherers in an environment where food was scarce.Therefore, our ancestors learned how to conserve energy to use when migrating to a more favourable environment in search of food. 

Our preference for sweet foods may have developed due to sweet foods providing us energy, especially when food was scarce lots of energy was needed in case food was not found for a long time, such as fruits which are also healthy. However in the present, this nay encourage the consumption of unhealthy foods which are sweet and high in sugar such as chocolate causing health problems such as diabetes. 

Bitter foods tend to be avoided due to bitter foods being a sign of poisonous food in our EEA. These two preferences developed in the EEA but still present today is supported by a study on new born babies. Facial expression of new born babies showed acceptance and pleasure to sweet foods but rejection and disgust when presented with bitter foods. Therefore, the fact that newborns show the same preference for food as adults shows that we have an innate preference for sweetness but a dislike towards bitter tastes.

Another study to support an innate preference for sweet and calorie rich foods such as meat comes from Davis' theory…


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