Factors influencing attitudes to food and eating behaviour.
Why do we eat?
Cultural, social and religiouns influences.
Ogden (2003): food choice "takes place within a network of social meanings".
- Eating is more than just a biological need.
- The food we choose and our eating behaviour is a social communication.
- Gives information about a person's identity - particularly their cultural identity.
- Tell us about their religion - certain foods cannot be eaten, cannot drink, food has to be prepared in a certain way, fasting.
Ogden (2003): eating is a social interaction, so important in social identity.
Socially we used food for...
- Demonstrate personal wealth.
- Develop relationships.
- For kids - social learning theory - children learn what to eat and appropriate eating behaviour.
- Children's food acceptance patterns are influenced by parental eating/attitudes and child-rearing practice.
- Birch (1999): modelling = adults and peers can influence what a child eats, and induce them to eat previously disliked foods.
- Birch and Marlin (1982): relationship between exposure and food preference. 8-10 exposures needed for shift to occur.
Examples of influence of religion on eating behaviour.
- Food preparation must be Kosher.
- Fasting days and ritual feasting days.
- Bread and wine is symbolic during certain rituals.
- Mormons = no caffeine or alcohol.
- Easter and Christmas = feasting days.
- Seventh Day Adventists do not eat meat or dairy.
- Roman Catholics are taught to fast for one hour before taking communion.
- Halal food.
- Haram foods (forbidden foods), e.g. pork, breads with dried yeast, sweets made with gelatine/alcohol, caffeine (may be considered a haram.
- Religious days for feasting, e.g. Eid al-Fatir (3 days).
- Ramadan (fasting during daylight hours for 1 month).
Eating or not eating can be used to change body shape and/or size in line with cultural ideals.
- Western world = no shortage of food, yet thinness is seen as the ideal.
- Feingold and Mazzella (1998): since the 1950s, women have become increasingly dissatisfied with their body image.
- Toriola (1996): in cultures where thinness is valued less, there is less discrepancy between actual and ideal body weight/size.
- Lorenzen (2004): males exposed briefly to ads where muscular male images shown report body dissatisfaction more than when exposed to normal size images in ads.
- Yang (2005): countries where not exposed to such ads = little body image concerns.
- UK Body Survey (2008): Fabulous magazine found that the national averae female size was 16, men's ideal femal size was 12 and women's ideal size was 8.
- What we eat can be linked to a range of diseases.
- Restriction of certain foods can help to manage chronic diseases.
- Some of us have allergies to certain goods which can lead to feeling ill.
- Some food deficiencies can lead to an impaired immune system.
- We can experience food poisoning.
- Healthy eating is linked to the prevention of some diseases and…