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The science of nutrition and healthy eating
The science of nutrition and healthy eating

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2 Reasons for eating

In Week 1, we briefly looked at the reasons for eating. Now we will go into this in more detail.

Activity 2 Reasons for eating

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes.

Can you remember why we eat?

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The reasons you might have noted are:

  • to stay alive
  • feeling hungry
  • eating is a ‘habit’ and food was available at that time
  • it is time to eat (i.e. breakfast, lunch or evening meal), there are set times to eat these meals
  • eating is sociable and enjoyable
  • just felt like eating but was not hungry
  • upset or feeling anxious and comfort ate.

There are several reasons for eating (see Figure 3).

An infographic showing a male and a female figure.
Figure 3 Different reasons for eating

We have already talked about sensory appeal – smell, taste and appearance. There is also, of course, a physiological need to just stay alive! Figure 4 summarises the physiological factors that control hunger and food intake.

An infographic of the physiological factors controlling hunger and food
Figure 4 Physiological factors controlling hunger and food