Discuss The Psycho-social Nature Of Eating Behaviour And How Psychological Models Can Be Used To Effectively Promote Healthy Eating Behaviour

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Q1 Discuss the psycho-social nature of eating behaviour and how psychological models can be used to effectively promote healthy eating behaviour.

Unhealthy eating behaviors and the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle is a critical challenge for public health. Adhering to such negative behaviors can lead to the development of chronic conditions and obesity in adolescents. Food choices and eating behavior are influenced by several determinants which include biological factors such as appetite and hunger, economic factors such as accessibility and income, physical elements such as education, awareness and skills in addition to social aspects which include the influence of family and peers. Moreover, eating behaviors are also marked by psychological determinants which consist of stress factors, mood and the beliefs and attitudes that an individual has towards food (Jensen, 2012). 

This indicates that the establishment of individuals’ food choices and eating patterns is rather complex especially because these behaviors may also change as one goes through different stages of their life (Maher et al., 2014). Therefore, it is not possible to apply a generic model or type of intervention to address unhealthy eating behaviors in a specific group or population. 

The purpose of this paper is to critically assess the psychosocial patterns and nature of eating behavior. Accordingly, the discussion also focuses on examining how various psychological frameworks can be used in an effective manner to encourage the adoption of healthy eating behavior. 

Psychosocial Nature of Eating Behavior

Psychosocial correlates of healthy eating behavior may vary between children and adolescents. A study conducted by McClain et al. (2009), examined psychosocial factors which influence the consumption of healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables. The research indicated that factors such as knowledge about the benefits of fruits and vegetable consumption, intention to eat healthy, perceived modeling and norms were positively linked with the consumption of food and vegetables...

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