Factors Affecting Food Choices

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The human race is vastly diverse and varied in habits, beliefs and behaviours; such diversity is exemplified in the various food decisions found among different people of varying cultural backgrounds. Eating is major source of pleasure in daily life and an inseparable aspect of human culture (Birch, 2003,p.75).


However, it could be argued that culture and tradition seem to exert the single strongest influence on an individual's food choices, attitudes and behaviours (Nutrition Update, 2005,p.1).
For a start, though, we should take a look at what constitutes 'choice' as it affects food intake and also culture. Buttriss et al (2004) opine that the term 'Food choice' can be seen from several respects, due to the varying definition of the word 'choice'. They further explain that the word 'choice' could subsume any of the following meanings:
Conversely, Dindyal and Sanjay (2004) define culture as the set of beliefs or norms that govern the attitudes and behaviours of a set/group of related people. Thus, a cultural group of people are characterised by a shared set of values, assumptions, perceptions and conventions usually based on a common history and language. Thus, food choice can be described as the selection of foods for consumption, which results from competing, reinforcing and interacting influences of a variety of factors (Buttriss et al, 2004). ...
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