What your food choices says about your personality
If you think about it, through most of history people ate what was available. If you didn’t eat what was available, you didn’t eat. Later, this was transformed and domesticated a bit to become: people at what was given to or prepared for them – as in, you ate what your parent prepared regardless of your preference, or you ate the types of foods and meals preferred and prepared by your broader family. This was often a culturally ingrained diet.However, now we have unprecedented exposure to different cultures - and with that, exposure to a variety of foods. Moreover, we have access to a huge variety of foods with little or no difficulty or distance required to acquire them – to try them. On top of that, we also now see parents catering much more to the personal preferences of their children, with children dictating the menu, rather than the other way around. While access, culture, and habits are huge factors in determining what foods we eat, studies have also shown that our individual personalities also have tremendous influence over what we eat. What does yours say about you?
Spicy & Spirited
According to a study by Hayes those people who seek out sensation- like driving fast on a windy road – are more likely to enjoy and eat spicy foods. They also found that people who enjoy being praised and winning competitions were also more likely to eat spicy foods, although I the later, they didn’t necessarily ‘like’ the spicy foods despite the increased intake of them.
Another group of researches explored the idea of ‘sweets for the sweet’ and after several studies found that people who like sweets such as candy and cake tend to be friendly and compassionate people.
- "People high in agreeableness liked sweet foods to a greater extent than did people low in agreeableness," the authors write, "and, perhaps of more importance, such preferences for sweet food tastes predicted laboratory measures of prosocial functioning [such as helping, sharing, or volunteering]."
Alternatively, a preference for bitter foods such as black coffee or radishes were more closely correlated to traits such as insensitivity and selfishness.
Another study, centered on Vodka flavors, found that those with a preference for peach tended to be lively and dramatic. While those who preferred cranberry tended to be serious, dull, and work too much. Vanilla drinkers revealed themselves to be impulsive and emotionally driven, and to enjoy being around other people.
One possible reason for these preferences is that our food preferences develop at the same time our personality develops – between the ages of 0-7. Similar studies also show that preference for much more than food are also solidified during this time period. Things like color, clothes, and sensations. So while the reasons we choose what we do may still be elusive, what we choose can really reveal a lot about who we are.
And so now that I’ve got you analyzing the favorite foods of your loved ones, I’ll leave you with one last question – What is your favorite Hot food to pack in your Lava Lunch – and what does your preference for Hot Lunch say about you? I really want to know!