Culture, Environment and Ingestive Behavior

Populations in different cultures exhibit different food choices, macronutrient intake, and patterns of eating over short and longer-term time periods. Much of ingestive behavior stems from the environment (e.g., geographic, technological, political, religious) in which a culture exists and how the culture adjusts to and/or attempts to modify the environment. Examples range from the pronounced (e.g., limitations of food availability in populations practicing subsistence agriculture, living in "food deserts" or fasting during Ramadan) to the subtle (e.g., food choices based on nutrient labeling on menus or federal dietary guidelines). Interpersonal factors (e.g., selection of foods based on social desirability, health beliefs) also modulate ingestive behavior. Opportunities are available for students to work with faculty focusing their research on the behavioral controls of feeding.

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