What Influences Your Food Choices? Part 1



Why do we eat the foods we do? People select and reject foods for many reasons. The role a specific food plays in health is important. But often its nutritional role is less important to people than what the food means to them. Food choices and the pat terns they form are affected by several factors. Physical, psychological, social, and cultural needs all influence food choices. What we eat is also influenced by what food is available to us and the personal resources we have to allocate for food.

Food styles is the term used to describe the ways in which people prepare and eat food. Food styles are influenced by all the factors discussed in this chapter. You will learn more about specific dishes that are popular in different parts of the United States and in other countries.
Why do we eat the foods we do? People select and reject foods for many reasons. The role a specific food plays in health is important. But often its nutritional role is less important to people than what the food means to them. Food choices and the pat terns they form are affected by several factors. Physical, psychological, social, and cultural needs all influence food choices. What we eat is also influenced by what food is available to us and the personal resources we have to allocate for food.

Food styles is the term used to describe the ways in which people prepare and eat food. Foodstyles are influenced by all the factors discussed in this chapter. In Unit IV, you will learn more about specific dishes that are popular in different parts of the United States and in other countries.

Physiological Influence

The interaction between your body and the food you eat is the first basis for your under- standing of nutrition.

SURVIVAL

All living things need food and water to sur- vive. Sunlight, air, water, and soil provide plants with ingredients for their survival. Human beings and animals are nourished by the food they eat and the liquids they drink. Without water, human beings can live for

only two to three days. Without food, they can survive for only three to four weeks.

ADEQUATE NUTRITION

Mere survival is not. enough, however. Your
body requires substances in food for energy, growth, and body functions. These substances are called nutrients. You will read more about nutrients in the next chapter. Adequate amounts of nutrients are essential for good health.

HUNGER AND APPETITE

Hunger and appetite affect your desire to eat. Although the terms are used inter- changeably, they have different meanings.

Hunger Hunger is a physical desire to eat. When an empty stomach contracts, hunger pains tell you that it is time to eat. Fatigue is often another sign of hunger.

Appetite, on the other hand, is a psychological desire to eat. Your appetite re-
body requires substances in food for energy, growth, and body functions. These sub- stances are called nutrients. You will read more about nutrients in the next chapter. Adequate amounts of nutrients are essential for good health.

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