Eating behaviour


Eating behaviour

Topic one: factors influencing attitudes to food and eating behaviour

What are we going to cover in this topic?

Eating behaviour:

• Factors influencing attitudes to food and eating behaviour, for example; cultural influences, mood and health concerns

• Explanations for the success or failure of dieting

Biological explanations of eating behaviour:

• The role of neural mechanisms involved in controlling eating and satiation.

• Evolutionary explanations of food preference

Eating Disorders:

• Psychological explanations of one eating disorder; for example anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, obesity

• Biological explanations, including neural and evolutionary explanations, for one eating disorder: for example, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, obesity

Lesson objectives

To develop an understanding of Factors influencing attitudes to food and eating behaviour, for example; cultural influences, mood and health concerns.


• Have a look at a woman's magazine in pairs.

• How often is eating behaviour discussed?

• Eating behaviour might include: eating, dieting, obesity and eating disorders.

What do women's magazines tell us about how we should eat?

What might influence a change in weight?

• Over eating, (Can lead to obesity).

• Under eating.

• Eating the wrong foods.

• Eating disorders.


• Can we think of any healthy eating campaigns over the past few years that have focused on the promotion of healthy eating?

Eat well advert: http://www.thegu


02/change4lifead-campaign media/video/2009/jan/02/cha nge4life-ad-campaign

What factors influence our attitudes towards food and eating behaviours?

 Watch the following clip from

Ministry of Food and consider the following questions;

 Are children’s food preferences the result of nature or nurture?

 Are high-fat, high-salt options preferred because they are tastier than healthy options?

 Do some people prefer unhealthy food because they don’t know about other options?

Jamie Oliver: Ministry of food.


HW: U tube and watch

Jamie Oliver’s School Dinners’

Attitudes towards food activity

• Rate the following food on a scale of 1 to 10.

• 1 = Don’t like it at all

• 10 = Really like

• Along the line number it 1 to 10.

• Then put the name of the food when you would put it on the line.

1 10













Results analysis

• Which foods were most liked and disliked?

• Why?

• Where do our food attitudes come from?

Draw up a list of ideas in pairs

Extension activity:

What kind of words do we use to describe food? Write a list.

A few questions to answer ...

• Do you know your foods?

• Do you follow healthy eating guidelines?

• How important is food?

• Do you know the consequences of malnutrition?

• IDA (Issues, Debates and Approaches): cultural bias

What kind of meanings is food associated with?

Can you think of any others?

Attitudes are judgments. They can be described by the

ABC model

(affect, behaviour, and cognition)

The affective

response is an emotional response

The behavioural response is what the individual does

The cognitive

response is a what the person thinks – their beliefs mood culture

What factors influence attitudes to food and eating behaviour?

family health concerns

How do attitudes develop?

• Most attitudes are the result of either direct experience or observational learning from the environment.

– Affective response

– Behavioural intention

– Cognitive response


EXPERIENCE – is related to taste, and the physical and psychological consequences of eating certain foods


LEARNING – depends on familiarity, parental example, cultural factors

1 approach to studying eating behaviour:

It focuses on individuals attitudes towards food. Looking at a number of core cognitions about food, including:

 Self-efficacy (‘I am confident I eat healthily’).

 Costs (‘eating makes me fat’).

 Benefits (‘Eating well enables me to stay healthy’).

 Subjective norms (‘my friends are on a diet’).

 Attitudes (‘Salad isn’t very filling)’.

 Perceptions of risk (‘Eating too much meat may be bad for me’).

 Perception of severity ( ‘being over weight is a serious health problem’).

Social cognition models

• Much of the research into attitudes has been drawn from social cognition models


They describe how a fixed set of cognitions may relate to any given behaviour

A number of models have been developed:

Health belief model (Becker and Rosenstock, 1984)

Protection motivation theory

(Rogers, 1985)

Theory of planned behaviour

(Ajzen, 1985)

Ajzen’s (1985) theory of planned behaviour

Attitude: ; ‘Vegetables are nice’.

Subjective norms: ‘My family eat a lot of vegetables

Behavioural control: ‘I am confident I can eat vegetables’.

Behavioural intentions: ‘I intend to eat vegetables’ ’

Behaviour: I eat vegetables.

Plenary: Fish bowl!

• Write a question related to material learnt in today's lesson and place it in the fish bowl.


– Prepare a poster outlining the model’s main features

– Give eating behaviour related examples

– EVALUATE the model