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Physical and health reasons for food choices

About food choices > Physical and health reasons for food choices

People choose foods for a variety of physical and health reasons:

Medical conditions

Many conditions are believed to be triggered, aggravated or relieved by the foods people eat. People who are diagnosed with these conditions may follow recommended diets strictly, or less strictly, or not at all. Some people will remain undiagnosed. In addition to mainstream recommendations there may also be dozens of alternative recommendations.

Learn more about food choices for medical conditions

Weight loss diets

At any time there are dozens of popular weight loss diets, and people may still be following one of the hundreds of diets from past years. They may follow a diet constantly, or be on and off it, or just follow the latest diet. They may even follow a combination of diets to suit their needs. Here are some major types of weight loss diets; note that some diets will overlap these categories and also that many of these diets are also used as healthy eating diets.

Learn more about food choices for weight loss diets

Healthy eating

Healthy eating guidelines are issued by medical experts and others, and may be adopted by governments. As public health guidelines need to be seen as steady and well-considered, they are slow to change and may reflect past thinking or be influenced by food industry. A number of diet books offer guidance both for weight loss and for general healthy eating, and food selection guidelines for healthy eating are generally based on medical or weight loss guidelines.

Stages of life

Pregnant and nursing women are advised to choose or avoid certain foods for their health and the health of the baby. Toddlers are often picky eaters as they learn the skill of eating. Children and teenagers can have voracious appetites and strong food preferences. Adults may expand their food choices or stay limited to their preferences from when they were younger. As people get older, they are more likely to have multiple medical conditions or other physical conditions that make them want to eat or avoid certain foods.

More details on food choice trends at different stages of life