What we eat, when we eat, and how much we eat are all decisions influenced by the environment around us.
What kinds of things influence us every day?
- Advertising: promotions are often aimed at children and young people – and often promote unhealthy foods.
- Price: healthy foods sometimes cost more than less healthy options (for example, milk vs fizzy drinks).
- Packaging size: single package sizes may seem to be an appropriate amount for a single serving – but there can be more than one recommended serving contained in the package (for example, Large Fries vs Small Fries).
- Food Source: when we buy prepared food, it is often higher in fat, salt and/or sugar, but lower in dietary fibre and other nutrients.
- Distractions: doing other things while eating (for example, watching TV, playing computer games) can lead to eating a larger quantity of food without noticing it.
- Peer Pressure: eating what your friends are eating may not always be the best choice.
- Time: busier lifestyles can leave less time for preparing fresh meals at home.
What can I do?
- Helping to plan and prepare meals can help me learn about nutrition and be aware of what I eat.
- Understanding the nutrition panels on food packets will help me be aware of what is in the food that I buy and help me make healthier food choices.