Factors That Influence Food Choices

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This section will explore how psychological factors such as motives, personality, and attitudes towards food influence consumer choice. When it comes to food choice, there is a great variety of products on offer, and consumers do not always make rational healthy choices. Often there are other criteria related to the human psyche that determine food choices. Motives can be rational when they result in reasonable behaviour, and emotional when they result in spontaneous behaviour (Zielinska 2006). One important motive that determines food choice is the desire to obtain a mental comfort after indulging in specific foods prepared in a specific way. Rational motives, for example the desire to be healthy, can result in irrational behaviours, such as going on extreme diets. People with these kinds of obsession believe that preserved food is dangerous for health, and healthy food should be biologically pure (Zielinska 2006). The relationship between food choice and emotions is complex. People choose certain foods in a particular context with the intent of improving emotional states, such as decreasing depression. It must be taken into account that food preferences depend heavily on the current mood as well. There are certain foods which have been considered to influence mood in a positive way. Some of these include coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages, and energy drinks (Zielinska 2006). The caffeine and carbohydrates seem to have a critical effect for mental freshness. Foods that

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