Effect of Pregnancy and Consciousness Factors on Food-Related Behavior



Pregnancy is often accompanied by emesis gravidarum (EG), known as morning sickness, resulting in changes in dietary habits including food choice and level of appetite. Toward providing a theoretical approach for understanding EG, consciousness factors influencing food choice are described using a multilayered concept of consciousness. In order to apply these concepts to the EG phenomenon, food- and nonfood-related factors were categorized into relevant consciousness layers, and methodological considerations were addressed by employing the cognitive sensory evaluation questionnaire to integrate food-related stimuli into the stream of consciousness. Comparative case studies of pregnant (PY) and nonpregnant (PN) groups of women are presented to address how these groups differentially perceived and evaluated food-related stimuli. The problem of EG is discussed in terms of a two ego system, mother and fetus, sharing one food digestion system. This article covers research reported in several comparative studies on the food-related behaviors of PY and PN subject groups that demonstrated different responses to external objective food-related stimuli and internal subjective food-related stimuli. The differences between the two groups were remarkable and were validated by the results of the conventional food-related lifestyle survey. Interperception across the multiple layers of consciousness was explained via three-way-branching logic, whereby the dominance of the selfish layer of consciousness accounted for the different patterns of responses. Applications of the multilayered consciousness approach include the cognitive sensory evaluation of food and the representation of responses using bar-code and frequency patterns, musical notes, and virtual satiety with regard to obesity.


Food Consumption Food Choice Food Preference Dietary Behavior Sensorial Stimulus 



5th consciousness layer, numerical number refers to relevant consciousness layer: 6-CL, 7-CL, and 8-CL, 6th, 7th, and 8th consciousness layer, respectively


Cognitive sensory questionnaire


Emesis gravidarum


Food-related lifestyles


Multidimensional scaling


Women who had never been pregnant


Women who had been pregnant


Three-way branch transformation



We thank Kang C.J., Shin M.S., and Song S.O. for their contributions in the preparation of the document, and Sensometrics Co., Ltd. for data treatment.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food and Animal Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Life SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea

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