Some have tried to define consumption as an activity specific to particular groups of people, sectors of society or sections of the economy. Others take a more abstract approach and see consumption as a process diffused throughout the world, defined as reducing or destroying matter, energy or order in a way that reduces their value to humans. Almost every aspect of consumption is laden with moral value and meaning, so that attitudes and values towards consumption are shaped by moral and often religious values that have very little to do with acts of consumption themselves. The life-cycle metaphor leaves all the activity, value and economic growth on the production side, while consumption is a passive process of decay and even waste. The disorders and moral pitfalls of consumption have metaphorical equivalents in the pathologies of eating. Americans extend the same ambivalence they have towards food and gluttony to money, wealth and the rich.