Key contributions towards understanding nutritional changes in modern societies from the viewpoint of social sciences have been made in the European framework. Existing Spanish studies echo the tendencies followed in other countries by anthropologists and sociologists. These works can be included within a wide-ranging debate on eating habits that has arisen from two novel facts: food options have increased making choice complicated, but the traditional agents that set norms no longer offer clear-cut guidance. In this study the main European perspectives are set out from a social viewpoint. An explanation is offered as to the stance sociologists and especially Spanish sociologists are adopting in these discussions. In addition, research proposals are put forward.