Food And Nutrition Essay

2070 words - 8 pages

People enjoy eating delicious food because they want to get essential nutrition from them. Who can resist a quick burger and fries when time is of the essence? But do you know what you're eating? For example, do you know how many calories are in a Taco Bell Gordita? Have you ever considered how much sodium you're consuming with an Arby's Bac'n Cheddar Deluxe? The numbers just might surprise you -- some for the better, but others for the worse.1. Influences on Food ChoicesFood choices are influenced by many factors, age, gender, friends, family, cultural background and where we live. Although the main purpose of food is to nourish the body, food means far more than that to many people. It can represent much of who and what we are.People bond and foster relationships around the dinner table and at celebrations with special meals and foods, such as birthday cake. Some people express their creative side by serving dinner guests, as well as expressing their awareness and appreciation for others. Some people also use food to help them cope with stress by overeating or depriving themselves. Food may also be used as a reward for accomplishing a specific goal. Consequently, what people eat can reveal much about who they are socially, politically and religiously.Factors influencing food preferences includes: taste, texture and appearance.Economics - The cost of food affects what we eat.Our early experiences with food - Food preferences begin early in life and change as we are exposed to new people and places. As children, our choices were in the hands of our parents. However, as we get older, our experiences with new people and places increase, thereby broadening our food preferences and choices.Habits - Most of eat from a particular core group of foods. About one hundred items account for 75 percent of the foods most people eat. Having a narrow range of food choices provides us with security. For example, going to a particular fast-food restaurant provides common expectations and experiences. Many people also have the cooking habits of our mothers or grandmothers.Culture - Religious rules can affect food choices. For example, Hindus do not eat beef, and some Jewish people do not eat pork. The region that people are from can also affect eating behaviors. Swedish people would not eat an ear of corn, because it is considered food for hogs. In the United States, we don't normally eat insects, but many other cultures regard them as preferred foods. Culture can also dictate the times to eat and what to eat at certain meals.Advertising - To capture the interest of the consumer, food producers spend billions of dollars each year on advertising and packaging, both for food bought in grocery stores and restaurants. The power of persuasion is very strong, and so food producers and restaurants try to make their products as appealing as possible to consumers, even if that means making false claims.Social factors - Social changes have a big effect on the food industry....

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