America's Obesity Crisis:Eating Behavior: Why We Eat [news]
For human beings, eating has never been a simple matter. To a frog snagging a fly or a pelican nabbing a fish, food is fuel and nothing more. To a human, the ritual of eating--the act of pulling up and tucking in, of passing around and helping oneself--is one of the most primal of shared activities.
We eat together when we celebrate, and we eat together when we grieve; we eat together when a loved one is preparing to leave, and we eat together when the loved one returns. We solve our problems over the family dinner table, conduct our business over the executive lunch table, entertain guests over cake and cookies at the coffee table.