Last updated on May 20, 2019
Different Necessary Snacking Motivation Factors To Know
All diet or food intakes are based on nutrition policy. This is an important aspect that not only an individual but also the governments are concerned about. It is, for this reason, you will find that there are different dietary guidelines issued. These guidelines are designed with the intent to make people eat foods that will keep them healthy. In this post, we reveal about a few necessary snacking motivation.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, DGA of 2010 you will see that:
- It encourages diminishing the consumption of unhealthy snack foods
- It also provides a few valuable suggestions for snacks.
However, all these seem to work less effectively even if they had the best of intentions that are clear to discern. This is simply due to the reason that people view snacks on the whole as differently as the items they choose for snacking. This makes things complicated for the American public in general when it comes to interpreting these guidelines.
Furthermore, nothing will be fruitful if you are not motivated enough to snack. Therefore, you should have your eating occasion clearly defined and prioritized so that you are always motivated to take snack items that will fulfill your nutrient
Motivations to snack
Just as different people have a different explanation of snacking, their motivation or desire to snack also depends on a large variety of different factors. There are several types of research conducted shows that the motivation of a person to snack depends on specific factors such as:
- Social culture
- Food Environment
- Cognitive factors as well as
- Hedonic eating.
In addition to that knowledge of food types also plays a significant role in motivation to snack and will also influence the food choice.
A person with poor knowledge about food nutrients and its requirements will often end up selecting snack items that are unhealthy, mostly resorting to fast junk food items.
These people even go a step further to order for such unhealthy home delivery snacks to add to their convenience and in turn to their bad health.
Snacking Motivation – The hunger factor
Most people feel the urge to snack in the afternoons to meet their hunger. Most of the times, this is associated with consuming foods that will promote health.
On the other hand, snacking when you are not hungry will often lead to consuming junk foods that are full of salt, sugar, fat, and sodium.
There are several studies conducted that shows snacking in the absence of hunger or even without any biological cues such as a decrease in glucose concentrations or insulin promotes poor nutrition as well as weight gain!
- Research by Chapelotsupports this hypothesis and went on further to state that people often have their snacking desire prompted simply because the specific food was available to them.
- It also showed that people who snack on a regular basis based on their hunger and biological cues often adjust their snacking size and timing of their next meal after the snack.
According to the study, snacking without hunger will lead to several complications in the body as well as result in increased energy consumption which will eventually result in weight gain.
Snacking Motivation – The location factor
It is also proved through several studies that location also affects the selection of food for snacks and also in the portion size.
- When people eat at home or offices, foods are eaten in small portions and the choice of food is healthier.
- On the other hand, eating at any other locations results in bigger snack sizes and unhealthy food choices that are rich in fat and low in fiber content.
A location does not involve eating out in a restaurant but also several other settings such as:
- Eating while watching a movie on television at home or at a theater
- Eating in a plane
- Eating while on a camping trip and others.
All these had significant variances in the choice of snack items and portions.
Social culture and food environment
These are two other significant factors that will affect the desire to snack in any individual. There are several types of research made on the effects of social culture, food setting and the socioeconomic status of a person on snacking and all proved to have significant and varying results. These studies have shown that:
- The size of food consumed by the companions also affects the size of an individual which is an effect that the researchers refer to as “social modeling” and
- Even if there are no companions, the environmental cues of food intake of individuals earlier such as empty food wrappers may also influence snack size and intake.
The study also suggests that snack times may also be influenced simply due to the absence of a proper snacking routine or script. Since meals are usually more inhibited by specific behavioral patterns and places, increased snack consumption may also be the cause of easy availability of food, celebratory social occasions and even the desire to have tempting food.
In a food-insecure setting, however, snacking may be the practice to skip meals due to the cost of food factor. This is the effect of the snacking and food security issue as reflected in the Food Security Survey Module. This specific populace includes four food secure groups in a specific order such as:
- Food secure
- Marginally food secure
- Food secure without hunger and
- Food secure with hunger.
The studies showed that people who are food insecure without hunger usually snack frequently and also have larger meals thereby consuming more calories from their snacks as compared to the individuals who are food secure.
Snacking Motivation – The final thoughts
Distracted and hedonic eating too has a significant effect on snacking motivation. When you eat while you are distracted, you tend to eat more such as having lunch while watching TV or playing video games. However, this is the case with homogenous populations having healthy BMI and within the age group of 20 to 47 years.
It is the same with hedonic eating which is influenced by the rewarding properties of food wherein people sensitive to reward eat more energy-dense snacks or sugar-sweetened beverages.
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