The eating behavior of an individual cannot be understood without understanding the individual’s livelihood, and this is nested with a wider community context including a neighbor, school, etc. The interaction between them affects an individual’s eating behavior. The eating behavior of an individual can only be understood by a multidimensional approach where the processes and context of children’s shaping influence can be determined. The factor affecting a child’s eating behavior can only be understood by understanding the child and adolescent eating behavior, and also the environmental influences, biological factors social relationships, etc.
The key driver for eating is of course hunger but what we choose to eat is not determined solely by physiological or nutritional needs. Some of the other factors that influence food choice include:
- Biological Determinants (Such as Taste, Hunger & Appetite).
- Psychological Determinants (Such as Stress, Mood, Attitude).
- Social Determinants (Such as social class, Culture, Social context).
The main reason why chooses the particular food is that we like the way it tastes. We don’t eat any food because they are an excellent source of protein or fiber- we eat them because they also taste good.
Taste preference presents when we are born, with even babies showing their preference for sweetness. But it is possible to teach yourself to love healthier foods as an adult main reason why choose the particular food is that we like the way it tests, we don’t eat any food because they are an excellent source of protein or fiber we eat them because they also test Court test paper and present when we are born with even babies showing their preference for sweetness but it is possible to teach yourself to love healthier foods as an adult.
Taste preference has also been found to be directly related to children’s fruit and vegetable consumption, calcium intake, and carbonated soft drink consumption. Learning to enjoy the taste of eating right takes time and perseverance.
- Hunger and appetite:
Eating behavior is influenced by physiological factors. Hunger appetite and satiety are all under neural regulatory control. Humans need energy and nutrients to survive and will respond to feelings of hunger and satiety. E.g., fat is the least satiating followed by carbohydrates than protein.
The energy density of diets has been shown to exert potent effects on satiety, low energy density diets generate greater satiety than high energy density diets.
An important satiety signal may be the volume of food or portion size consumed.
Psychological stress is a common feature of modern life and can modify behavior that affects health such as smoking, physical activity, food choices.
Stress and depression can affect appetite through either an increase or decrease in eating- some people consume more food and make, and healthy food choices, and others consume less food.
The proposed mechanism for stress-induced changes in eating and food choice the proposed mechanism for stress-induced changes in eating and food choices are motivational differences (reduced concern about weight control), physiological (reduced appetite caused by the process associated with stress), and practical changes, food availability, and meal preparation.
Today it is recognized that food influences our mood, and that mood has a strong influence over our choice of food. Interestingly, it appears that the influence of food on mood is related in part to attitudes towards particular foods.
Women more commonly reported food cravings than do men. A depressed mood appears to influence the severity of these cravings. Eating a meal reliably alters the mood and emotional predisposition, typically reducing arousal and irritability and increasing calmness and positive affect. Unusual meal example too small, unhealthy may negatively affect mood.
The selection of high-quality diets is influenced by knowledge attitudes and the economics of food choice behavior. Positive food-related attitudes have been linked to better diets, as indexed by higher values of the healthy eating index and by higher consumption of vegetables and fruits. Socio-economic differences in a healthy lifestyle are associated with the difference in attitudes to health.
- Social class:
There are differences in food choices in different social classes which lead to both under- and over-nutrition. For example, people within the higher social class groups tend to have healthier diets (e.g., higher intakes of fruit, lean meat, oily fish, wholemeal products, and raw vegetables) compared with manual workers. It is thought that higher socioeconomic groups have healthier diets because they may have higher educational levels and maybe more health-conscious and have healthier lifestyles. Poor diets can result in under- (micronutrient deficiency) and over-nutrition (energy overconsumption resulting in overweight and obesity); problems that face different sectors of society.
Cultural influences lead to the difference in the consumption of certain foods and in traditions of preparation (food cultures often vary regionally even within one country depending on the landscape, weather, and history that each region uniquely experienced), and in certain cases can lead to restrictions such as the exclusion of meat and milk from the diet. Cultural influences are however amenable to change when moving to a new country individual often adopt particular food habits of the local culture. For example, South Asian females migrating to Scotland showed increased fat intakes and this was associated with an increased body mass index and incidence of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Social context:
Social context includes both the people who have an impact on an individual’s eating behavior and the setting in which an individual consumes their dietary choice. People influence an individual’s food choices directly and indirectly: buying food on behalf of an individual is a direct impact whilst learning from a peer’s behavior (conscious or subconscious) has an indirect impact. Even when eating alone, food choice is influenced by social factors because attitudes and habits develop through interaction with others.
OTHER INFLUENCES ARE:
- Economical Determinants (Such as Cost and Income):
I) Cost and Income: The cost of food and the ability of an individual to afford specific foods (related to income) are primary determinants of food choice. Low-income groups are reported to consume unbalanced diets and low intakes of fruit and vegetables.
- Physical Determinants (Such as Access, Education, Skills, and Time):
I) Accessibility and availability: Accessibility to shops and the availability of foods within shops influence food choice.
II) Education and knowledge, and skills: Individuals that are educated and knowledgeable about ‘healthy eating are more likely to opt for healthy dietary choices.
III) Time constraints: Time constraints will prevent individuals from adopting healthy choices especially the young and those that live alone who choose convenience foods.
There are so many influencers existing determining an individual’s eating behavior which provides an individual a whole set of means to either improve or worsen the eating habit. Bad eating habit makes an individual fall apart while a good eating habit can make a better physical and mental character of an individual, but it is hard to get a good eating habit in current scenario so different strategies must be required including a practical solution that can change an individual’s lifestyle also.