Factors That Affect Your Food Choices

Factors That Affect Your Food Choices

Americans take an estimate of 200 choices in terms of food each day, according to Cornell University professor Brian Wansink. Factors that you almost do not notice influence many of these decisions. Although the list of potentially contributing factors is long, some are particularly common. Having an understanding of these factors can guide you towards a path to making more general decisions, obtaining an improvement in your well-being as a result. To learn specific ways to improve your daily food choices, look for the guidance of a qualified professional nutritionist.


Spending too much time between meals, skipping meals or eating too few calories generally stimulates hunger, which can influence your eating choices. In ancient times, says registered dietitian Sharon Palmer, hunger was often to save life, prompting the first humans to hunt and collect food to survive. If you experience "starvation," as many dietitians say, you may want foods that provide large amounts of fat, protein, carbohydrates, and calories. If you do not eat breakfast, for example, you will be more likely to choose a juicy hamburger with cheese and French fries instead of a soup or salad for lunch. Intense hunger and skipping meals can also lead to larger portions, additional accompaniments and desire for dessert.

Pleasant taste

Pleasant taste, or how pleasant food is in particular, also influences your choices. The flavor, smell, appearance and texture of the food and your previous experience with that dish, contribute to its pleasant taste. A food that once gave you an intoxication, for example, may remain without a pleasant flavor, while a dish you frequently enjoy may seem continually tempting. Visually pleasing foods, such as fresh strawberries dipped in bitter chocolate, may be more attractive than a simple grape or carrot. Sweet foods, high in fat, such as cakes and ice cream, have an "undeniable sensory attraction," according to the European Food Information Council. In addition, these foods more often lead to overeating.

Nutrition data

In a study published in "Obesity" in October 2009, researchers examined the influence of calorie labels on fast food menus in consumers in New York City. Only 27. 7% of consumers said that seeing the caloric content influenced their food choices. Although additional research is required, many people consider the content of nutrients, calories and ingredients when buying food in stores and restaurants.


Simple access to food also affects your choices. Having foods on hand commonly associated with cravings, such as chips and chocolate, has the potential to particularly increase your desire for them, according to Dietitians of Canada. Living near fast food restaurants can lead to consuming food in these places more frequently. Similarly, having fresh fruit, vegetables, and low-fat milk in your refrigerator, instead of cakes and soda, can result in a healthier eating choices routine.

Parental factors

Many children develop eating habits similar to those of their parents. If you were raised in a particular kitchen, like Italian or Asian, for example, you could choose similar foods throughout your life. The attitudes and behaviors of parents in relation to food, particularly those of the mother, tend to have a significant impact on the dietary habits of the children, according to a report published in the "British Journal of Nutrition" in 2008. If the mother eats or eats too much repeatedly, for example, her son probably will too. Imposing severe restrictions or rules on a child's food intake can lead to generally poor food choices, overfeeding and obesity.

Video Tutorial: Factors affecting food choice.

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