For my first discussion post, I have decided to talk about the slides on food. Our experiences with food begin from a young age, and babies have preferences on what they like and dislike. Babies often enjoy more sweet foods rather than bitter or sour-tasting foods. This is obvious by observing their facial expressions and even body language. Additionally, a mother's diet while pregnant or nursing also plays a role in a baby's food preferences. Research even suggests that the flavors of a mother's diet can influence the baby’s taste preferences and sense of smell before birth. In the slides, we learned that when mothers drank carrot juice while pregnant or nursing, their infants preferred carrot-flavored foods.
Something I already knew was that humans tend to enjoy certain foods. For example, foods higher in fat, sugar, and salt are often considered more palatable and provide comfort to humans. Our taste preferences have evolved to favor these foods due to evolutionary factors. Calorie-dense foods throughout human evolution are known to be crucial to survival.
Another important term we learn is the mere exposure effect, which is when people have certain preferences because they are familiar with them. Eating certain foods repeatedly will increase one's liking for that particular food. To connect this topic of food to motivation, one can be motivated by food depending on their relationship with food, early experiences with food, and liking for certain foods. For example, someone who is hungry will be more motivated and can even be reinforced by eating certain foods in comparison to an individual who just ate a large meal or has had bad experiences with food. The liking for food can also be decreased through taste aversion, which is when a food is disliked because of the smell or taste leading to nausea.
Overall, food is essential for survival and well-being. Evolutionary and personal history can determine our food preferences. It was interesting to learn about all the different factors that play a role in one's relationship with food from a young age into adulthood.