Throughout our lives we go through several phases and fads of eating. So long as they do not cause too much of a deviation from the normal range of foods, the human body adjusts to such passing fads quite easily.
Bad eating patterns are often formed during childhood and may be difficult to change later on. Children who are bribed with too many sweets develop a ‘sweet tooth’ which they cannot get rid off in adult life. An emotional dependence on such foods is also unhealthy. Eating sticky foods between meals, buying soft-drinks or ice-cream with pocket money for consumption in school daily are other common practices which are harmful to growing children. Their diets may become deficient in important nutrients, especially when they refuse to eat well at regular mealtimes.
Teenagers often react against foods which they have been forced to eat during childhood. Drinking milk or eating at home with the family are not popular as they like to experiment with new foods eaten in new places or surroundings. Though they have stopped growing in height, their bodies still require nutritious meals.
Adults too, may have bad eating patterns. Housewives who have to prepare several meals a day are often exposed to the temptation of tasting what they cook, or nibbling at snacks when they are all alone. Too few proper meals and too many snacks can become a habit with such people.
Young people setting up house on their own are another group that may seek shortcuts from the tedium of cooking meals regularly. Eating out or survival on tinned and packaged food is bound to leave their diet deficient in vitamins and very often in other essential nutrients as well.