Outline and Evaluate Attitudes to Food and Eating Behaivour

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Outline and evaluate attitudes to food and eating behaviour (9 + 16) Social learning theory emphasises the impact that observing other people has on our own attitudes and behaviour to food. Parental modelling is one explanation of attitudes to food as children observe their parents and this affects children because parents control the foods bought and served in the home. Brown and Ogden support how imitation leads to attitudes to food when they reported consistent correlations between parents and their children in term os snack food intake, eating motivations and body dissatisfaction. Media also has a large impact on attitudes to eating behaviour. Macintyre et al found that the media have a major impact both on what people eat and also their attitudes to certain foods. However, researchers also state that many eating behaviours are limited by personal circumstances. Thus, people appear to learn from the media about healthy eating but must place this information within the broader context of their lives. Studies between parental modelling/social learning theory have been supported by Birch and Fisher in his study of mothers and daughters. They found that the best predictors of the daughters eating behaviour were the mothers dietary restraint and their perception of the risks of the daughters becoming overweight. Meyer and Gast surveyed 10-12 year old girls and boys and found a posit9ve correlation between peer influence and disordered eating. The likeability of peers was considered the most important factor in this relationship. This also supports the role of social learning theory on attitudes to eating. Cultural influences such as ethnicity or social class play a massive part in attitudes to eating behaviour. Research suggests that body dissatisfaction and related eating concerns and more common in white women than black or Asian women (Powell and Khan).

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