Eating behaviors: family influence on your diet
Why family has the biggest influence on how you feed yourself?
Medical Fact Checked by: Dr. Bryan Havoc
Perhaps you are not even in contact with your family. But it’s exactly your family that has the biggest influence on how you feed yourself and your loved once. I don’t mean your favorite childhood's tastes, neither that your mum’s soup is the best but the fact that what you unconsciously think about food and what kind of emotions does it provide you - comes from your family home.
Shall we check? Look back on your childhood and bring back:
- what was said about the food in your home?
- how adult women (mother, grandmother, aunt) have been talking about cooking, preparing meals?
- have you been eating all together at scheduled hours or separately, any time they wanted?
- whether eating had been a celebration and way for spending time together or an unpleasant duty?
- what kinds of myths, sayings, jokes, stories have been going around the table?
- which behaviors had been awarded and which one punished?
- while eating with your family - were you happy or sad?
Your ‘family table” was not only filled with meals, eating was connected with family emotions, words, behaviors, ways of perceiving yourself and others, the social attitude.
Now observe how currently your ‘life around the table’ looks like. Is it, on emotional level, similar to the one from your memories?
You can’t change the past. But remember that even if patterns of behavior and beliefs from your family home are strong, you can work on them. How? By asking yourself which beliefs are compatible with your present values, and which one you want to leave behind because they’re simply not good for you.
Virginia Satir said ‘Problems are not the problem, coping is the problem. The way people are coping with problems, not a problem itself destroys them. So when we’re learning how to deal with problems, we’re treating them differently
- problems start to look differently’. So what, is that time for honest self-examination?
*This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.