Edit: the sentence in question is part of a prose where the author talks about "いただきます". I added also the sentence before that.

Edit2: Thanks to explanation by @marasai, the bold text is demystified. However I would still like a translation of the whole sentence.

I have encountered the following sentence (in italic), which I seem to know every word but cannot make sense of it as a whole:

一人で食事をする時、この言葉が自然に出てくるのだったら、食事の用意をしてくれた人に対する感謝、或いはご馳走をしてくれる人に向かっての礼儀というより、これから口に入れる食べ物に対する感謝の気持ちが強い。 自分の生命を存続させてくれる食べ物を、それならばもう少し大切にしてもいいように思うが、贅沢に慣れて、「いただきます」と言いながら、悲しくなるような食べ方をしている人を見かけることが多い。

Bolded part of the sentence is especially confusing.

  • 1
    Please tell us the context and where you "encountered" the sentence. – Earthliŋ Feb 22 '16 at 19:35
  • 悲しくなるような食べ方 is "ways of eating that make me (or us) sad", like taking only one bite and throwing it away, playing with foods like toys, and so on. – marasai Feb 23 '16 at 1:46

As Marasai tried to explain, "itadakimasu" is what we say before eating as a sign of respect to the food spirit. But some people got used to luxury―spoiled people we may say― and even though they say "itadakimasu" that would imply respect, the speaker feels sorrow seeing how those people actually eat their food. This indeed would imply they do eat badly, waste food, play with it etc.

The sentence could seem tricky because the subject for 言いながら and the second part 見かける is not the same, as you know now.

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