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Determinants of Food Choice During Childhood: What Industry Can Do

BY: Kelly Hensel
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Session 107
July 15; 8:30–10 a.m.
Room N427cd

Child Eating Hot DogNew multidisciplinary studies, linking neurobiology with behavioral economics and social studies provide new insights into the food seeking behavior of children. Understanding how biology and behavior interact can help the food industry develop healthier foods for children. The global food industry has a continuing responsibility to stem the obesity epidemic.

Eating is a highly complex behavior in humans that results from the integration of three main levels of control in the brain: homeostasis, reward, and cognition. These three levels interpret food, respectively, as a fuel, as a source of pleasure or as a goal. The first speaker will provide an overview of the neural and cognitive basis of eating behavior in humans and the association with obesity.

Obesity and obesogenic eating behaviors can be difficult to change, once established. For that reason, encouraging parents to give their children access to a healthy food environment is important. The second speaker will discuss the influences of the early feeding environment on children’s eating and interactions with child appetite and taste.

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