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Outline and Evaluate Evolutionary Explanations of Food Preferences

  • Submitted by: OliverBlack
  • on January 8, 2013
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 1,336 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Outline and Evaluate Evolutionary Explanations of Food Preferences" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Outline and Evaluate evolutionary explanations of food preferences. (24 marks)

According to the evolutionary approach current human behaviour can be understood in terms of how it may have been adaptive in our ancestral past. It has been suggested that in modern society we tend to eat more calorie rich food due to it being adaptive for early humans. Preferences for fatty calorie rich foods would have been adaptive due to conditions in the environment of evolutionary adaptation (EEA) meaning that energy resources were vital in order to stay alive and also to find the next meal. Calories were not as plentiful as they are today and so humans and animals would have evolved a distinct food preference for foods that are particularly rich in calories. Gibson and Wardle (2001) found evidence that we have an evolutionary preference not for sweet things, but for those high in calories. This has been found as 4 and 5 year old children have been found to prefer food that are high in calories. Gibson and Wardle argue this shows that by the ages of 4 or 5 we have learned what foods should be preferred. Therefore it may not be due to innate preferences.  Furthermore out ancestors diets consisted of plant food until the decline of the quality of plant food available to them due to receding forests. This forced them to include meat in their diet which they obtained from animals and fed on the fattiest part of the animal such as the liver or brain (therefore being high in calories). By including meat in their diet they increased in intelligence due to the meat being a catalyst for the growth and development of the brain. Milton (2008) argues without meat it is unlikely that we would have developed the modern brain size. This helped ensure their survival as they were a more developed species and so this enabled them to adapt to new situations and continue the survival of the human race. Therefore this adaptive response to eating meat has been passed into modern society explaining...

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