- Which, if any, of your food choices were influenced by emotions (happiness, boredom, or disappointment, for example)?
While I chose to eat the specific food items which I consume daily, at the evening I felt like having a chocolate. I soon went out to the store and grabbed one from there. I relished it on my way back. In retrospect, I believe that I made the choice of going for a chocolate as I was feeling quite bored sitting at home all day and playing computer games. The chocolate made me get over the boredom and I felt happy.
- Was social pressure a factor in any food decisions?
I really do not like eating too much of vegetables. However, my parents insist upon the fact that I should consume vegetables daily as that is supposed to be good for my health and development. Personally, I would never opt to have them as I do not find them to be delicious. But, it is actually due to the social pressure, if I take into consideration the overpowering influence and diktat of my parents that I have vegetables. On the day when I kept my food diary, I ate vegetables quite against my own will.
- Which if any, of your food choices were influenced by marketing strategies or food advertisements?
In the evening we got burgers from KFC and the family munched on them happily. It was delicious and we all liked it. It has become a regular thing in our household to grab a bite of food from KFC or McDonalds’ a few times in a week. This, I believe, is the result of the extensive ad campaigns and marketing strategies which condition the minds of the people. Quite obviously, these in no way are required according to the daily nutritional needs. But, it is the sheer influence of consumer culture which results in this.
- How large a role do availability, convenience, and economy play in your food choices?
This day I noticed that mother had given me pasta which was not of the same brand which we used to have all the time. As I asked she let me know that the regular pasta which he had was unavailable in the locality and hence she got this for us. This makes me think that our food choices are quite dependent on availability and convenience of the consumer. A person would opt for the economical choice of getting food and this would actually be more convenient for that person. Getting the pasta which was locally available was convenient and economical for mother.
- Do your age, ethnicity, or health concerns influence your food choices?
Age does affect a person’s food choices. While I tend not to worry about the cholesterol level in the food which I consume, I see that my grandfather is quite conscious of it. I prefer to have Indian food at times as it is spicy and delicious, but the people in my house are inclined toward the ethnic food choices. Also, they detest the amount of oil and spice which is used in the cooking process of Indian cuisine. This particular day, I indulged in exercising my culinary skills as I tried my hand at cooking Shahi Polao, an Indian dish. But, my parents started questioning if it was healthy or not. I had it nonetheless and they even tasted it as I had made it. Thus, it can be said that age, ethnicity and heath concerns do influence food choices.
- How many times did you eat because you were truly hungry? How often did you think of health and nutrition when making food choices? Were those food choices different from others made during the day?
I actually felt really hungry and had my breakfast. But in the later part of the day I had food at regular intervals and never felt that much hungry. It was only at the time of cooking the Indian dish that we had a small discussion about the health issues and nutrition.
- Do you eat the suggested amounts from each of the five food groups daily?
I went to the website and compared the recommended intakes and my daily intakes. After the comparison I got to know a few important specifics about my daily diet. I take the suggested amount of grains daily. However, due to my aversion toward vegetables, I end up taking less amount of it in comparison to the recommended one. As far as the intake of fruit is concerned, I actually have more than what is recommended. I take two glasses of milk every day, although the site recommends me to have three full glasses daily. I have two eggs daily and have meat every alternate day. I eat almost the same amount of beans regularly as recommended by the website.
- Do you try to vary your choices within each food group from day to day?
I do try to vary my choices as that adds to the taste and makes me feel better about having food. We generally eat pancakes, cereal and bread alternately at our home. Fruit juice is something I love having and I replace fresh fruits with the juice almost every alternate day. When it comes to vegetables, I prefer having salads. However, on other days when there is no salad to munch on, I have to eat cooked vegetables. I swap with peanut butter every two-three days. I also have cheese at times as I find it to be more delicious than milk. I also like to have yogurt at times.
- What dietary changes could you make to improve your chances of enjoying good health?
I could start having more vegetables as that would be very good for my health. Also, I could have more dairy as that is something I consume less than the recommended amount. I could also cut down on the consumption of fast food which I have at times. That would be a great thing to boost my overall health development. I could have more beans and meat to initiate health development.
- What do you think will be the long-term effects of these influences?
As the saying goes, “Health is wealth”, I believe that a properly planned diet would ensure better bodily functions and would pay off in the long run. If I start taking the right kind of food products from this age, I would surely be fit and would not be vulnerable to health hazards and other physical problems. The right kind of food intake would ensure better health and that would keep me hearty and exuberant.