Does not our life consist of the four elements [earth, air, fire, and water]?
Faith, so they say; but I think it rather consists of eating and drinking.
Thou art a scholar; let us therefore eat and drink.
William Shakespeare (1623/1936) 1
Have you ever noticed just how much of your time is devoted to eating and drinking, or to thinking about eating and drinking? Pick a day and try keeping a record of the total time that you spend preparing or eating meals and snacks, as well as the time that you spend just thinking about the foods and drinks that you will or won't have. You'll likely find that far more time is devoted to these activities than to anything else, including sex. On a recent day I used a stopwatch to record how much total time I spent thinking about or touching food. My total was 4 hours and 33 minutes, and I'm not any more obsessed with food than is the average person. A great deal of the behavior of all animals consists of obtaining and consuming foods and liquids.
It doesn't take a scientist to know this. Shakespeare obviously knew it. But it does take a scientist to find out what causes these food- and drink-related behaviors. And once we understand the causes, then we may be able to change these behaviors, something that a lot of people would like to do for many different reasons.