Making Sense of Eating: Exploring Lived Experience Related to Body Image and Self Identity
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Making sense of experiences of eating is a topic of significant value in today’s food and weight fixated society. Eating experiences relate to a number of psychological concepts, particularly how a person views their body, and their sense of self. The following study was undertaken to determine the effect to which experiences of eating influence a person’s sense of self identity. The influences that experiences of eating (for example deprivation, overindulgence) have on a person’s sense of identity was investigated. Six participants with a mean age of 20, who were willing to speak freely about their experiences of eating, were interviewed using the method of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). A range of themes, drawing the closest parallels with eating experiences were brought to light in this investigation, specifically involving moods and emotions, relationships, identity and personality and external influences, demonstrating that experiences of eating do have a considerable impact on self identity of the participants.