October 26, 2020

Do picky eaters affect social life?

Do you have food that you never want to eat after eating it once?

Weibo has selected such foods, and coriander, houttuynia, toon, etc. have all appeared on the list.

Some people are accompanied by strong physical rejection when eating certain foods, so there may be certain special foods in their food “blacklist”. Some people may not be able to drink milk because of lactose intolerance; some may not want to eat Sichuan or Hunan food with friends because they cannot eat spicy food; some may avoid eating meat because of their religious beliefs…

Due to allergies, digestive system diseases, religious beliefs, eating habits and other reasons, individuals actively or passively restrict the eating of certain or certain specific foods, which are called food restrictions.

With the development of economy, people’s material life is extremely abundant, people are more and more particular about the tastes, materials, methods and ways of enjoying food, and they show more and more food restrictions.

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology believes that food restriction can trigger individual loneliness.

Loneliness refers to the negative emotional experience of individuals because the level of social connection established in real life does not reach the level of social connection that they expect to achieve. It is divided into two types: Situational loneliness and Chronic loneliness.

Situational loneliness is a relatively short-lived negative experience due to lack of social connection; while long-term loneliness is a more stable state, which is caused by the long-term failure of individuals to develop satisfactory social relationships for many years. Negative loneliness.

In this study, the researchers first found through questionnaires that adults and children with food restrictions experience higher long-term loneliness than people without food restrictions.

In addition, the researchers also used experimental manipulation to set food-restricted situations (allowing fake subjects to drink alcohol, while real subjects can only drink juice) and food-unrestricted situations (both real and fake subjects drink juice) ), and compare whether there is a difference in the loneliness experienced by real subjects in these two situations. It was found that the participants experienced significantly higher loneliness in food-restricted situations.

So why does restricted food make people feel lonely? The researchers found that this is because of food anxiety.

Food worries refers to the fact that food-restricted individuals will take too long to decide what to eat, and this will make them worry that others will avoid eating with them, or will make decisions to them based on their food preferences. negative comment. In other words, food restriction will trigger individual food anxiety, thereby further increasing the individual’s loneliness.

What inspiration does this research have for us?

1
From the perspective of developmental psychology, food plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of social relationships among children. When children choose what to eat, they are very sensitive to social cues from family and friends, and may even consider the social The loneliness triggered by the clues extends into adulthood.

For example, a child with lactose intolerance may be afraid of milk due to repeated warnings from his parents during the extra meal between classes, and therefore cannot drink milk with everyone. He is likely to have situational loneliness at this time. If children go through this process repeatedly, they may develop long-term loneliness.

Therefore, parents and teachers should pay attention to correctly guide children to prevent the negative impact of food restriction on children’s physical and mental development.

2
The research results emphasize the role of food in culture from the perspective of food culture.

Culture can use food consumption as a signal to restrict group members, and establish connections between group members by influencing what people can and cannot eat.

In addition, while people enjoy the benefits of dietary restrictions that strengthen internal group bonding, they should also pay more attention to the negative experience brought by food culture to avoid themselves and other members of the group from feeling lonely due to food restrictions.

3
Although this study shows that food restriction will increase the individual’s perceived loneliness, this negative impact is also conditional.

For example, at the dinner table, those who openly express their food restrictions than those who hide their food restrictions are often more confident in social acceptance of their eating habits, and they will not be too sensitive to information from others and feel lonely.

In addition, food restrictions may also benefit individuals by highlighting their unique identities. For example, individuals who declare that they cannot drink alcohol at a dinner party often receive special care from others; those who actively choose food restrictions due to cultural or ideological reasons, They will also be respected by others because of their values ​​or beliefs.

4
The source of the spread of the new coronavirus has not been ascertained, and notices “please residents not to buy live poultry and game” have been posted in many places.

This kind of food restriction caused by public health emergencies has strengthened people’s attention to wild animals to a certain extent, and reminded people to rationally look at the “curious” nature of diet.

However, sudden changes in eating patterns may cause people to experience different degrees of negative emotions. Therefore, relevant departments should also pay attention to people’s negative emotional experience, guide people to form healthy eating habits, and better adapt to social life.