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Posted: March 13th, 2023

HDHS5: Nutritional Health

HDHS5: Nutritional Health – Medical Science Assignment Help

Assignment Task

Assignment Question addressing Assessment Criteria as found in Document 11_Assessment Policy. (In case of Case Studies please attach as PDF)

The key driver for eating is hunger but what we choose to eat is not determined solely by physiological or nutritional needs. Recognising other factors that influence food choice is important when planning menus and preparing food.

In turn, this can make the difference between an individual eating sufficiently for their needs or not.

In this assignment you are to discuss and critically appraise how such influences on the diet will affect the individual and give plausible suggestions on how interventions need to be geared towards different groups of the population.

Students are reminded to support their answers with relevant literature and examples from their online research of the subject and their own experience. You are required to write your answers in your own words with the supporting literature also written in your own words (i.e., information not to be used as found in the literature, but only the authors meaning, written in your own words).

This HDHS5-Medical Science Assignment

Food choice is not solely determined by physiological or nutritional needs but is influenced by several other factors. These factors include social, cultural, economic, psychological, and physiological influences. Therefore, it is important to recognize these influences when planning menus and preparing food to ensure individuals eat sufficiently for their needs. In this assignment, I will discuss and critically appraise the influences on the diet that affect the individual, and provide plausible suggestions on how interventions need to be geared towards different groups of the population.


Social influences on food choice:

Social influences on food choice include cultural, family, and peer influences. Cultural beliefs, traditions, and customs can influence food choices, and families also influence food choices. Additionally, peers and friends can influence food choices through their eating habits, opinions, and recommendations. For example, in some cultures, meat is considered a staple food, and vegetarians may not be supported or may feel left out. In contrast, some families may have strict dietary habits, and children may not have access to a variety of foods or may be forced to eat certain foods they do not like. Peer influence can also contribute to unhealthy food choices, such as eating fast food or drinking sugary drinks.

Economic influences on food choice:

Economic factors, such as income, education, and food access, can also influence food choices. Low-income households may not have access to fresh produce, and may rely on processed and convenience foods that are cheaper and easier to obtain. Additionally, individuals with low levels of education may lack knowledge about healthy eating or cooking methods, and may not be able to read food labels or understand the nutritional content of their food.

Psychological influences on food choice:

Psychological factors, such as emotions and stress, can also influence food choices. For example, individuals may turn to comfort foods, such as ice cream or pizza, when feeling sad or stressed. Additionally, some individuals may have disordered eating patterns, such as binge eating or emotional eating, that can lead to unhealthy food choices.

Physiological influences on food choice:

Physiological factors, such as hunger and cravings, are also important influences on food choice. Hunger is a physiological response to a lack of food, and can lead individuals to seek out calorie-dense foods. Additionally, cravings for certain foods, such as chocolate or salty snacks, can also influence food choices.

Interventions geared towards different groups of the population:

To address the influences on the diet that affect the individual, interventions need to be geared towards different groups of the population.

For low-income households, interventions could focus on improving access to fresh produce, such as through community gardens or farmers markets. Additionally, educational programs could be developed to teach individuals about healthy eating on a budget and how to cook with fresh ingredients.

For individuals with disordered eating patterns, interventions could focus on providing support for emotional eating and addressing underlying psychological issues. This could include individual or group therapy, as well as educational programs about healthy eating habits.

For individuals who are influenced by social and cultural factors, interventions could focus on increasing awareness and tolerance of different dietary habits and preferences. This could include promoting vegetarian and vegan diets as healthy and sustainable options, as well as providing education about different cultural foods and traditions.

Food choice is influenced by several factors beyond physiological and nutritional needs. Social, cultural, economic, psychological, and physiological factors all play a role in determining what individuals choose to eat. Therefore, interventions need to be tailored to address the unique influences on food choice for different groups of the population. By recognizing and addressing these influences, individuals can make healthier food choices and ensure they are meeting their nutritional needs.

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