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Factors Affecting a Person's Diet

By Kay Ireland ; Updated August 14, 2017

One look inside a grocery store can tell you just how widely the types of foods and diets vary across the board. While one family loads up on fresh fruits and vegetables, another man buys only junk food. While one woman chooses vegan products, another prefers more meat. The diet choices made when choosing the foods that you put in your body are often as subconscious as they are conscious. Factors affecting a person's diet could include income level, age and level of education.

Income

People who have a lower income are more likely to eat unhealthy foods, points out the British Food Standards Agency. They are less likely to choose whole grains and fresh foods, and more likely to indulge in soda and processed foods. Unfortunately, unhealthy foods are often the most affordable, leading low-income families into a life of unhealthy eating and obesity along with poverty.

Time

A time-crunched schedule can lead people to make poor diet choices, sacrificing healthy foods for quick and convenient ones. A working mother who is short on time, working outside of the home and running errands may stop at a fast food restaurant to feed her children, whereas someone who has less responsibility has more time to cook wholesome foods from scratch.

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History

If your parents always cooked you comforting but fatty meals, there's a good chance that those are the foods that you love and are comfortable with. Your parents and family life are a lead factor in your diet choices, as some of your food preferences were likely formed when you were a small child. Your preferences are then passed onto your children, which is why it is so important to choose healthy foods to perpetuate a cycle of healthy eating.

Education

A study completed by Cambridge University found that education was a factor in the diet of choice. In fact, 59 percent of middle-aged, educated individuals ate a healthy diet, while only 47 percent of older, less-educated individuals ate healthily. Education, especially when it comes to education of health sciences and food choices, is an important way to learn about healthy diets and caring for your body.

Age

The older you become, the less likely you are to indulge in an unhealthy diet, notes the Journal of the American Diabetic Association. When you're young, you're likely to eat a diet of foods high in sugar, saturated fats and artificial flavorings; however, older people eat fewer convenience and junk foods. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that the older you are, the better your diets are overall.

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