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Food Habits

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Key Concepts
Personal food habits develop as part of ones
social and cultural heritage, as well as
individual lifestyle and environment.

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Cultural Development of Food

Food habits grow from many influences

All rights reserved to Vinayak Mehetre

Slide 3

Cultural Development of Food


Food habits are learned through everyday

living and family relationships.
Food habits are primarily based on food
availability, economics, personal food beliefs
Cultural background and customs largely
determine what is eaten.
Foods may take on symbolic meaning.

All rights reserved to Vinayak Mehetre

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Religious Dietary Laws

Different dietary laws depending on

orthodox/conservative/reform beliefs
Dietary laws are called Rules of Kashruth; foods
prepared according to these laws are kosher
Meat should come only from animals that chew their
cud and have cloven hooves; no pork or birds of prey
Meat and milk products are not mixed
Shellfish and crustaceans are avoided


All rights reserved to Vinayak Mehetre

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Religious Dietary Laws


Dietary laws dependent on restriction or prohibition

of some foods, promotion of other foods

Ramadan: 30-day period of daylight fasting
Milk products are permitted at all times
Fruits, vegetables are permitted unless fermented
Breads, cereals are permitted unless contaminated
Seafood, land animals are permitted
Pork and alcohol are prohibited

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Native American Influences

Indian and Alaska Natives
Many diverse groups
Groups all have a spiritual devotion to the

Food has great religious and social
Food differs according to what can be grown
locally, harvested or hunted on the land, or
fished from local waters.

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Southern U.S. Influences

Food patterns developed through creative ability to

turn basic staples into memorable food

Traditional breads include hot breads (biscuits,
spoonbread, cornbread)
Wide variety of vegetables and leafy greens
(turnip, collard, mustard) are used
Pork is a common meat

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Southern U.S. Influences


French Americans
Cajuns in southern Louisiana are descendents

of the French colonists of Arcadia (now Nova

French culinary background blended with
Creole cooking around New Orleans
Foods are strongly flavored, spicy
Seafood is abundant.

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Asian Food Patterns

Use a wok for quick stir-frying with little fat
Vegetables and rice are staples
Meat, eggs, tofu are sources of protein

Rice is basic grain
Many varieties of fish and shellfish are used.
Vegetables are usually steamed.
Diet is high in sodium, low in milk

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Asian Food Patterns


Southeast Asian: Vietnamese, Indonesian,

Cambodian, Laotian
Rice is a staple.
Soups are common.
Fish, shellfish, pork, chicken, and duck are

Red meat is eaten only once or twice a month.

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Mediterranean Influences
Bread and pasta are basic ingredients.
Cheese, meats, poultry, fish, sausages, cold

cuts, and vegetables are commonly used.

Olive oil, garlic, herbs, and wine used in cooking

Bread is the center of every meal.
Cheese, yogurt, vegetables, rice, lamb, and fish

are commonly used.

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Key Concepts
Social and economic change usually results
in alterations in food patterns.
Short-term food patterns, or fads, often stem
from food misinformation that appeals to
some human need.


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Social Influences
Social structure
Groups may be formed by economic status,

education, residence, occupation, family

Group affiliation influences food attitudes and

Food and social factors

Food symbolizes acceptance and warmth in

social relationships.
Certain foods trigger childhood memories.

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Psychological Influences
Diet patterns
Food has many personal meanings.
Many psychological factors rooted in childhood

Food and psychosocial development

Food relates closely to psychosocial development.

Toddlers may become picky eaters in order to

control parents.
Food neophobia (fear of unfamiliar foods) is normal

developmental factor

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Economic Influences
Family income
Low-income families suffer extreme needs.
Illness, hunger, and malnutrition are more

common in this group.

Food habits more likely to be manipulated by
Food assistance programs can help lowincome families develop better food habits.

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Food Misinformation and

Fad: any popular fashion or pursuit without
substantial basis that is embraced fervently
Food fads: scientifically unsubstantiated
beliefs about certain foods that may persist in
a given time or community
Unscientific statements may mislead
consumers and contribute to poor food

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Food Fad Claims

Food fad claims may center on
Food cures for specific conditions/illnesses
Harmful foods to be omitted from the diet
Certain food combinations may promote

health, weight loss

Natural foods can prevent disease

Food fad claims tend to focus on foods, not

the specific nutrients in food

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Dangers of Food Fads

Danger to health/failure to seek appropriate
medical care
Money wasted on fad supplements
Lack of sound knowledge that counteracts
scientifically based health information
Distrust of the food market/unwarranted
rejection of all modern food production

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Vulnerable Groups

Elderly persons
Young persons
Obese persons
Athletes and coaches


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10 Red Flags

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Factors Determining Food

Physiologic factors
Health-disease status
Needs, energy, or nutrients
Therapeutic diets

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Factors Determining Food


Psychological factors
Positive or negative experiences/associations
Personal food acceptance

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Thank you !!!!

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