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A.8.1 Discuss how religion and other cultural factors affect food choice and impact on health.

  • Hindu diets eat no or very little meat therefore people need to eat foods high in Vitamin B

Some religions forbid certain types of food

  • means that the nutrients from 'that' food are not eaten
  • the person needs to find an alternative food providing the missing nutrients
  • otherwise persons' health will be compromised.

A.8.2 Discuss how vegetarian and/or vegan diets affect food choice and impact on health.

Consider moral, religious, environmental and nutritional issues.

Vegetarian don't eat meat but do fish and dairy products

Vegan don't eat meat or dairy products

  • both will need to find other sources of food to get the missing nutrition


  • believe that we shouldn't animals
  • due to cruel farming techniques
  • animals have a right to live

Religious (See Hindu link):

  • Forbidden to eat certain foods (meats mostly however some religions forbid some vegetables)
  • ceremonies or celebrations require abstaining from certain foods or eat different foods
The vegetarian food pyramid has no meat section, since vegetarians do not eat meat products (although exceptions include eggs). However, there is a section for legumes and alternatives to meat products. The vegan food pyramid is similar to the vegetarian food pyramid, except dairy products are replaced by products that do not come from animal sources (e.g. milk from a cow is replaced with soy milk)

A.8.3 Define lifestyle.

The way a person or group lives, including patterns of social relations, consumption, entertainment and dress.

A.8.4 Explain how lifestyle factors affect food choice and impact on health.

  • Socialite ... would eat out often, possible drink too much alcohol, if the food at restaurants are high in fats etc etc then it can have a negative impact on ones health.
  • Businessman (frequent traveller)... pick up meals on the run
  • Workaholic .. possibly get home late, eats TV dinners or just snacks

A.8.5 Explain how lifestyle factors have led to the development of new food products, such as snack foods and individual convenience foods.

A.8.6 Explain how travel, the media and lifestyle factors have led to increased consumption of foods from other cultures and the development of an international cuisine.

Travel, the media and lifestyle factors

  • provide an introduction to new foods ...
  • a need is generated to eat that type of food in their home country
  • popularity increases for that food
    • therefore the development of an international cuisine.

A.8.7 Explain how (ironically) many of the most popular ethnic dishes consumed in the developed world were traditional staple foods.

Staple foods such as rice (Asia), pasta or noodles (Italy and Asia), potatoes (South America - Peru has some 33 varieties of spuds!) and Bread (Mesopotamia and Egypt)

  • Rice is found in many Chinese and Thai recipes such as stir fried rice
  • Since the introduction of international cuisine

NB: Chinese, Indian, Thai and Sushi are very popular dishes worldwide. Indian is now considered the #1 dish in England not to forget Chinese takeaway.

A.8.8 Define food allergy and food intolerance.

Food allergy
Hypersensitivity to dietary substances.
Food intolerance
An adverse food-induced reaction that does not involve the immune system.

A.8.9 Explain how food allergies impact on diet.

Consider nut allergies.
  • Can cause allergic reaction (even life -threatening)
  • Must ensure not to eat nuts
  • or food that came in contact with nuts (cross-contamination)

A.8.10 Explain why a number of products not containing nuts are labelled with warnings that they may contain traces of nuts.

Consider how food processing machines are used and the potential for cross-contamination of nuts from one product to another.

A.8.11 Explain how food intolerances impact on diet.

Consider gluten intolerance.

A.8.12 Explain how to achieve a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-free diet

  • avoid foods that contain gluten (such as cereals like wheat, barley or rye)
  • avoid foods that contain gluten in the form of additives
  • Substitutes include corn, potatoes, rice, and tapioca


Bulleted list and italicised paragraphs are excerpted from Design Technology: guide. Cardiff Wales, UK: International Baccalaureate Organization, 2007.

Images are clickable links to its location.

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Page last modified on October 31, 2011, at 04:12 AM