Nutrition and your mind
What is Psychology of nutrition?
Nutritional Psychology is an innovative new approach to working with some of the most common issues we see in our word today when it comes eating, body image, and weight. Since the key to wellness is often found beyond the actual foods one might choose to eat, the realm of Nutritional Psychology appreciates and respects the profound effects that what we think and feel has on our ability to receive nourishment.
Over the last 20 years, research within the field of the mind-body sciences has shown us unequivocally that how we feel and how we think deeply impacts our body on a multitude of levels. It’s become widely accepted knowledge in the mainstream that:
- Stress lowers our body’s ability to fight disease and infection.
- Depression can create aches, pains and digestive disease.
- Self-hatred can trigger eating disorders.
These are very important distinctions to consider. Thus, the field of Nutritional Psychology builds purposefully on this mind-body link, and focuses its attention specifically on how thoughts and feelings impact: how we eat, what we choose to eat, and further – how we digest, assimilate, and metabolize that food.
We understand that the power of Nutritional Psychology lies in the fact that we are more than just a collection of chemical processes. We are more than a mechanistic conglomeration of cells that require nutrients to survive. In truth, vitamins and minerals cannot feed us alone. We are complex beings in need of all kinds of divergent sources of nourishment, including, but not limited to: love, pleasure, community, celebration, beauty, movement, and laughter. And, when we “get fed” on these deeper levels, in addition to consuming food that fully supports our particularly unique body, we become fully nourished. We feel at peace and ready to do our good work in the world.
Having a healthy mind is just as important as having a healthy body"
1. Food labels
In 1990, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required that nutrition labels be put on food products in the United States.The thought behind doing so was to provide consumers with the necessary information to make educated decisions about the foods that they purchased. Since that time, nutrition psychologists have done research on how influential these labels are on how consumers choose what foods to buy. These studies have shown mixed results concerning the effects of nutritional labeling.According to the research, the average consumer does tend to read the labels and take the information into consideration, in part because companies have begun producing foods with more health-conscious ingredients. However, many of these potential health benefits are overshadowed by the continuing increase in obesity and deaths related to obesity in the United States over the last few decades.
“The right way” of eating as defined by any number of “experts” and “gurus” is often not necessarily “right” for us."
There are so many “perfect diets” offered to us everyday in new books, celebrity magazines, and news media – but they may not fit our body type, our physical requirements at the time, our stage of life, the climate where we live, the season, or our emotional needs. Nutritional Psychology acknowledges that we each have a body with unique needs, and that there’s no better expert on what makes you feel your absolute best, on all levels, than you.
As with any industry, marketing plays an important role in the buying and selling of food products. Marketing campaigns for food and beverages are increasingly prevalent today and are larger in scope than ever before, given the resources that large corporations are able to use in the forms of social media and viral marketing. Some researchers claim that the dramatic rise in obesity rates are at least in part, due to an increase in the marketing of food over the past 30 years. New marketing strategies have taken many forms, including changing the packaging of the food or beverage itself, product placement in media, advertisements in schools, increased focus on "value meals" with larger portions, and endorsements by athletes or celebrities. Many of these methods increase exposure to younger consumers, who studies show, tend to be more impressionable than adults and whose eating patterns as children can continue long into their adult lives.