In other words, this theory is applicable to individual differences in behavioral characteristics but can provide little information about the average differences between groups (e.g., differences between males and females or between members of different cultures). Although the focus of research in this area is often on genetic influences on health and behavior, the theory is also useful for describing environmental sources of variance that contribute to individual differences. Thus, the label of behavioral genetics is misleading, because the theory and methods are as informative about environmental influences on characteristics as they are about genetic factors.
In this vein this paper discusses the contribution of behavioral genetic research to the understanding of individual differences in health from infancy to old age in order to better understand the relationship between our diets, cultures and life spans. The paper begins with an overview of the behavioral genetic perspective followed by a brief summary of the designs and statistical analyses that are used to assess the etiology of genetic and environmental influences. ...
believed that the society or culture in which one resides has an influence on the ideals of beauty and appearance that are at times difficult to attain and this is particularly an intense trend amongst western societies .The way these patterns will influence the food patterns of the young and older generations will subsequently affect the longevity of the population based on the resultant diet patterns.Although such factors sometimes spring from the self perception of the patients and the messages they are getting from the outside world about their bodies this has a lot to do with the traditional and popular culture of the society.In the West for example and now in many "globalised" dimensions of the world the modern media promotes extremely thin dimensions of body size as the very epitome of a successful life and this causes a general sense of dissatisfaction amongst the young impressionable audiences.The dietary influences from such factors can cause a number of eating disorders like anorexia as the impressionable members of the audience try to live up to the high standards created by the glitzy models and their size zero dimensions.
Of course there are other factors at play here. Academics have also stressed upon the likelihood of strained family relationships in this regard because studies show that they stir up negative self esteem issues with in the young people and this may affect diet patterns and ultimately contribute to the shortening of the over all life span. J Wardle et al (2003) in his article, "Socioeconomic disparities in cancer-risk behaviours in adolescence: baseline results from the Health and Behaviour in Teenagers Study (HABITS) has attempted to find the link between Socio-economic factors and how the presence or the lack thereof of such