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Society has significant problems with food choices today enough that terms like binge eating and fat-free have become common vocabulary Sadly culture blames obesity on the individual Consider the stereotype that overweight people are lazy unmotivated and gluttonous many people hesitate to reject that statement In brief it is often accepted that an imperfect body reflects an imperfect person Nutrition Action Healthletter July-Aug 1998 Many factors influence our food choices We are motivated by economics physiological impulses genetics psychological notions our environment and culture Each of these affect the way we balance the value we place on taste nutrition cost convenience and weight control when selecting food Journal of the American Dietetic Association Oct 1998 Eating behavior that seems irrational on the surface is much better explained when all aspects are considered Economic explanations are based on the idea that food choices eating patterns and activity levels are choices consumers make each day These decisions are influenced by prices time and income as well the conscious and unconscious balancing of tradeoffs between current satisfaction and future health From this perspective people eat unhealthy diets because current taste and experience is a higher priority than future health Nutrition Today May 2000 While we have a biological necessity to eat scientists have been pursuing causes for obesity within the field of genetics We know that historically genes guided our ancestors to consume high-calorie foods in order to live through times of scarcity Bred through thousands of years it is still inborn for us despite the general absence of a food shortage It is likely to take several thousand more years for our ancient genes to adapt to this change Besides it may be true that some people are more prone to becoming overweight but searching for the gene for obesity may be like searching for the gene to discover what causes lung cancer among smokers Nutrition Action Healthletter July-Aug 1998 When considering environmental factors there is evidence
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