Why We Eat What We Eat

By Hannah Annas

External Influences

Media

Influences such as television, newspaper and the internet can alter what we eat.

For example when I am driving down the road and I pass the sign for subway I will more than likely turn around and go get subway.

Economics

Some people have to alter what they eat because of the amount of money they have. For example my family has some money so we can afford to buy healthy foods.

Environmental

Some people eat different things based on where they live. For example someone who has a garden with lots of fruits and vegetables (like me) might eat healthier than someone who live in the city and gets all of their food from the super market.

Technological

Some people alter what they eat based on the developments improving any methods for doing tasks. For example when I get on my computer there will be lots of ads for food and it makes me want to eat more food.

Individual Influences

Physiological

This would be someone eating more of a vitamin based on their needs due to age or activity level. I am a teenager so I eat lots of calcium to build strong bones.

Psychological

This would be someone eating things based on influences such as appetite emotions and thoughts stress personal likes and dislikes. For example when I get stressed I do not eat anything.

Personal (likes and dislikes)

Some people eat certain things because they taste better and some people avoid food because they think they taste bad. For example I like strawberries but I do not like celery.

Cultures and Customs

This would be someone eating more of an item or avoiding an item because of the customs and beliefs of their racial, religious or social group. I had a friend in middle school who did not eat pork because of her culture.

Traditions

An example of this would be me and my family having turkey on Thanksgiving.

Healthy Food Choices

Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Dietary guidelines for americans can be addressed by taking into account how old you are or how much activity you get daily. You can also view dietary guidelines by looking at MyPlate.

Weight Management

There are many programs and websites that take into account your age weight and height and provide you with an exercise plan to help you lose weight. If you are not overweight you can just manage what you consume to keep your weight at a normal level.

Physical Activity Needs

If a person eats more food than another person they may need to have more physical activity in their schedule in order to keep their health and weight in check.

“My Plate” compared to the “Food Pyramid”

“My Plate” has received a much more favorable reaction than the "food pyramid", primarily for two reasons: It has a clean and easy-to-grasp design and it clearly emphasizes the overwhelming importance of fruits and vegetables in a healthful diet. The food pyramid was claimed as confusing and it did not address fats or oils.

Nutritional Labels on Packages

In order to know what you are consuming you should always look at labels on foods. Everything from calorie count to ingredients can be found on the label.

Food Groups to Encourage for Specific Populations