What influences my food choices? Most people want to eat healthier. However, many people still make unhealthy food choices. There are many things that influence food choices. What are some of those influences? The influences can be: • • • • • • Family Friends TV and other media Mood or our feelings Where you eat How much money you have Turn to your completed Food Diary activity sheet. • • • • • • How many meals/snacks were eaten “on the go”? How many meals/snacks were eaten while watching TV? How many meals/snacks were eaten with your family? How many meals/snacks were eaten alone? With someone? How many meals/snacks were eaten because of a specific mood? How many meals/snacks were eaten when you weren’t hungry? Why did you eat a meal or snack when you weren’t hungry? • What were your biggest influences on eating your meals/snacks? • When did you eat the healthiest? When did you eat the least healthiest? • What did you learn from this activity? • Based on what you learned from this activity, what do you intend to do to eat healthier in the future? Another influence on our eating habits in the effect advertising has on our food choices. What types of food have you seen advertised on TV and in magazines? What do these foods have in common? Many of the foods you’ve seen advertised on TV and in magazines are not very healthy for you. What is the problem with advertisements for unhealthy foods? Studies show that people who read or see those advertisements tend to eat more of those kinds of foods. Do you think you are influenced to eat certain foods through advertising? Why or why not? Most people are influenced in their food choices through advertising. If this weren’t the case. Companies would not spend billions of dollars a year on advertising their food products. Experts know that there is a relationship between the number of hours a child watches TV and the amount of advertised foods eaten. The food that is advertised during the time most children and adolescents watch TV is mostly unhealthy food such as chips, cookies, high-sugar cereal and candy. Food advertisers use many different techniques to try to get you to buy their food items. What are some of these techniques? Turn to Food Advertising Techniques. What are some ways the you can counteract these advertising techniques? Food Choices • It’s important to understand the many influences on your food choices. The more you understand these influences, including advertising, the smarter you will be when choosing what foods to eat.