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Eating is arguably the most fundamental of human activities. In Western societies in particular, there is great interest in diet, health, and food preferences. Why We Eat What We Eat: The Psychology of Eating translates the latest research results on the psychology of eating for health and psychology professionals as well as lay readers.

This volume explores the shift in eating research from the search for bodily signals that trigger hunger to a focus on eating patterns emerging from a learning process based on life experience. This book offers hope that healthful eating patterns can be learned. The volume proposes models for normal eating behavior and discusses how and why eating deviates from these norms.

Why We Eat What We Eat expands on themes in the well-received volume Taste, Experience, and Feeding and makes the information accessible to a wider audience. It will be of value to anyone interested in eating and its psychological aspects: health psychology researchers and practitioners, physicians, pediatricians, nutritionists, educators, students, and parents.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

I. Introduction and Overview

—Elizabeth D. Capaldi

  1. Ingestive Homeostasis: The Primacy of Learning
    —Douglas S. Ramsey, Randy J. Seeley, Robert C. Bolles, and Stephen C. Woods

II. How Learning Affects Food Preferences

  1. Taste Aversion Learning
    —Glenn E. Schafe and Ilene L. Bernstein
  2. Conditioned Food Preferences
    —Elizabeth D. Capaldi

III. How Tastes Are Developed

  1. The Early Development of Human Flavor Preferences
    —Julie A. Mennella and Gary K. Beauchamp
  2. The Role of Experience in the Development of Children's Eating Behavior
    —Leann L. Birch and Jennifer A. Fisher

IV. How Biology Affects Eating Patterns

  1. Sensory Factors in Feeding
    —Valerie B. Duffy and Linda M. Bartoshuk
  2. Brain Mechanisms and the Physiology of Feeding
    —Neil E. Rowland, Bai-Han Li, and Annie Morien

V. How the Social Context Influences Eating

  1. Social Influences on Food Preferences and Feeding Behaviors of Vertebrates
    —Bennett G. Galef, Jr.
  2. Sociocultural Influences on Human Food Selection
    —Paul Rozin

VI. How Patterns of Eating Are Established

  1. Sensory-Specific Satiety: Theoretical Frameworks and Central Characteristics
    —Marion M. Hetherington and Barbara J. Rolls
  2. The Behavioral Phenotype in Human Obesity
    —Adam Drewnowski

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editor