Unit 1, Chapter 1 Notes
CHAPTER 1 –FOOD CHOICES
5 factors that affect food choices
-Where you live, who you live with, how you live- has a lot to do with what you choose to
-Environmental factors that influence our food choices include economics, lifestyle, culture,
-Where you live- location and climate affect food costs, a major determinant of food choice
-Wealthier households spend 7% of their after tax income on food, low-income families
spend around 25% of their income on food. It is assumed that wealthier households have
more nutritious diets b/c they can afford to buy higher-quality lean meats, more fish&
seafood, and more fruits and veggies; nearly 20% of low income households bought no
fruits or vegetables.
-Our fast-paced society has little time/ patience for food preparation. Current trends
suggest we eat at home more often, but we are constantly eating ready-to-eat or heat-and-
Sensory Influences: Taste, Texture, and Smell
-4 classic tastes-sweet, sour, salty, and bitter, one additional taste sensation is umami
Umami: A Japanese term that describes a delicious meaty/ savoury sensation. Chemically,
this taste detects the presence of glutamate.
-Glutamate is an amino acid( a building block of protein) , found in monosodium
-thoughts and feelings about food; cognitive influences affect our thinking and the decisions we
6 Cognitive influences:
-Day to Day influences on food choices: Habits
-It is our routine to eat 3 meals a day: We often eat the same foods particularly for Breakfast
(eg. Cereal and milk) and lunch (eg. sandwiches). Unit 1, Chapter 1 Notes
-Comfort and Discomfort Foods
-Our desire for particular foods is often based on behavioural motives. For some people,
food is their emotional security blanket because consuming favourite foods can make us feel better,
relieve stress and allay anxiety.
-As infants, they experience both physical and psychological satisfaction when eating.
Particular foods are eaten when people are feeling under the weather (Soup and hot tea) and feel
like they need to be rewarded (ice cream or sweets)
-Pica is often associated with pregnant women. Iron deficiency tends to drive pregnant
woman’s cravings so that she seeks iron in any possible form, even dirt.
Pica: The craving for and consumption of non-food items such as dirt, clay, or laundry starch
-Advertising and Promotion
-Aggressive and sometimes deceptive advertising programs can influence people to buy
foods of poor nutritional quality.
-Advertising can sometimes be helpful especially to consumers whose diets need
improvements. For example, in the mid 1980’s, Kellogg’s launched a print and t.v ad campaign for
All-Bran cereal to suggest that a high fibre diet would less the chance of cancer . Sales increased on
all high-fibre cereals.
-Social factors exert a powerful influence on food choice. By observing their parents, infants
and children learn which foods and combinations of foods are appropriate to consume and under
-With age and social contact, children and teens adopt food preferences and eccentric
preparations (for ex. only eating sandwiches cute in triangles.)
Social Facilitation: Interactions with others can affect your eating behaviour
-Nutrition and Health Benefits
-If people feel vulnerable to a disease and believe that dietary change will lead to positive
results, they will pay closer attention to information about links between dietary choices, dietary
fat, and risks for heart diseases and cancer.
- A desire to lose weight is a powerful force to shaping decisions to accept or reject
particular foods Unit 1, Chapter 1 Notes
Cultural Influences (pg.8)
-The strongest influence on food preferences is the traditional or cultural background.
-The Japanese are known for their long life spans and this is partly attributed to their
nutrition. Consumed with every Japanese meal is rice and Japanese people eat an avg of 3
ounces of fish per day.
-To a large extent, culture defines our attitude. “One man’s food is another man’s poison”
For example, in China, the local delicacy is deep-fried scorpion.
-Food can have symbolic meanings related to family traditions, social status and even
health. Folk remedies rely on food—ex. herbal teas for purposes of allaying anxiety to
preventing cancer and heart disease.
-Food represents religious rites, symbols, and customs
-Each Religion has distinct dietary laws. Judaism- the orthodox laws that prohibit eating
milk and meat at the same meal or even preparing /serving them with the same dishes and
utensils, Hinduism – they are vegetarians and do not eat eggs, Buddhism – Intoxicating
beverages are prohibited in this religion, Islam – prohibits consumption of pork, flesh
clawed animals, alcohol and other intoxicating drugs, Catholics – during lent, traditional
catholic practices substitute meat for fish on Fridays.
- Physical restrictions due to diseases
- Declining taste sensitivity
- Age and gender
- Taste sensitivity, preference for sweets and avoidance of bitter
INTRODUCING THE NUTRIENTS
Nutrients: Any substances in food that the body can use to obtain energy, synthesize tissues, or
-Nutrients are used for normal growth and development, for maintaining cells and tissues,
for fuel to do physical and metabolic work and for regulating thousands of body processes.
Food provides these nutrients; essential nutrients the body cannot make. Unit 1, Chapter 1 Notes
Essential Nutrients: Substances that must be obtained from the diet because the body either
cannot make them or cannot make adequate amounts of them
6 Classes of Nutrients
Definition of Nutrients
- The focus is on what happens in the absence of particular nutrients. The absence of a
nutrient from the diet for a long enough time results in a specific change in health; For
example, lack of vitamin C will eventually lead to scurvy
- New area of research in nutrition is: Phytochemicals
Phytochemicals: Substances in plants that may possess health-protective effects, even
though they are not essential for life
- Plant chemicals are not nutrients but they have important health functions, such as
Antioxidants: A substance that combines with or otherwise neutralizes a free radical,
thus preventing oxidative damage to cells and tissues
- The 6 class of nutrients serve 3 general functions: they provide energy (fuel), regulate
body processes, and contribute to body structures
- Since the body needs large sums of carbohydrates, proteins and fats are called
Macronutrients: Nutrients such as carbs, fat, or protein, that are needed in relatively
large amounts in the diet
Micronutrients: Nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, that are needed in relatively
3 general functions of nutrients in the body. (1) Micronutrients, some
lipids and proteins, and H20 help regulate body processes such as
temperature, blood pressure, and energy production (2) Lipids, proteins
minerals and H20 help provide structure to bone, muscle, and other
cells. (3) Macronutrients supply energy to power muscle contractions
and cellular functions. Unit 1, Chapter 1 Notes
Key differences among the classes of nutrients
- chemical composition of nutrients – whether or not the compounds contain the element
Organic: In chemistry, any compound that contain carbon except carbon oxides (e.g,
carbon dioxide) and sulphides and metal carbonates (e.g potassium carbonate). The
term organic also is used to denote crops that are grown without synthetic fertilizers or
Inorganic: Any substance that does not contain carbon, excepting certain simple carbon
compounds such as carbon dioxide and monoxide. Common examples include table salt
(sodium chloride) and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
Vitamins, carbohydrates, lipid and proteins (complex chemical
structures) = Organic
Minerals and Water (simple chemical structures) = Inorganic
Carbohydrates: Compounds including sugars, starches, and dietary fibres, that usually
have the general chemical formula (CH20)n, where n represents the number of CH20 units
in the molecule. Carbohydrates are a major source of energy