This Article is About
obesity
obesity research center
anorexia and bulimia
american psychological association
healthy meals
diagnostic tool
Why Psychology Must Step It Up When It Comes To Dealing With Obesity
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Why Psychology Must Step it Up When it Comes to Dealing With Obesity

Psychologists are still dealing with the decision to add obesity to the same diagnostic tool as anorexia and bulimia, labeling it as a psychologically based eating disorder. Obesity and its many consequences will be one of the main themes being discussed at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association which started August 1st in Orlando, Florida.

With obesity numbers increasing for both children and adults, the concern is that there is not enough being done to combat the problem. Many questions have arisen including why so many more people are obese than ever before as well as why so many of those people are unable to lose weight even with their best efforts. According to most research on the topic, obesity is more resistant to the usual types of treatment now than it was five decades ago.

One of the most serious problems is modern living. Food, once only found in a few places, including home gardens, road side stands and the main grocery store is now abundant and seemingly everywhere. Even in smaller towns, around the clock food availability is the norm. In addition to all of that food, there is food advertising that seems to put various foods in the mind's forefront all day long.

Our bodies have been retrained to think differently about foods as well. In the past, people usually ate three meals at fairly regulated times. We have been retrained to think that we need to eat small meals, all day long or the concept of grazing. For some people, that may mean healthy meals, but for others, it is a green light to eat high fat or sugary foods frequently throughout the day. In addition, we also think we should be able to eat late into the night, a concept that some experts believe leads to weight gain. Others argue that timing has nothing to do with metabolism.

Researchers, who have published journal entries ahead of the conference have linked other issues of modern living with weight gain. David Allison, from the Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, says that his work has shown that sleep issues, especially lack of sleep may increase the risk of obesity. Other studies echo those findings, showing that people who are not getting enough sleep are more likely to consume nearly three hundred more calories the next day. Another problem, according to Allison, is the advanced age of mothers when they give birth which dramatically increases the risk of childhood obesity.


Street Talk

This makes sense.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Johnney  

Interesting article, ended rather abruptly for me though, would have liked to read more info or pointed to more info. I can see how it would be considered a psychology issue our brains have become deluged with incoming information on what, why, when, where and how to eat properly, that we've stopped listening to our bodies and rely on society to tell us how to take care of ourselves when it comes to nutrition. Too much junk in the marketplace.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Hi Johnney, you had some valid points about the psychology of overeating. We have learned to follow the clock and learned about "socially appropriate" times to eat. However, not everyone who is overweight has gained weight for psychological reasons. Amy said brain chemicals can be responsible for overeating, and that also makes a lot of sense.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

It's a real problem in today's world. The cause of it is probably a combination of many things like you have stated in the article. Great job. I guess I wonder why it is a psychology issue! It is always interesting to me how the world of psychology will come out with new disorders and then comes new treatments and pharmaceuticals to go with those treatments. Thanks for the great information. Got me to thinking!!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Your article was interesting. However, your article talked more about our culture and lifestyle in terms of obesity rather than focusing on the psychological causes of obesity. I can understand why people might think they can eat small meals during the day. I was surprised to read some people think it means they can eat late at night. Most of the research I have read says it is bad for you. I don't think obesity is always a psychological disorder. There are many reasons for obesity, and it is not always due to eating for emotional reasons.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I think I may follow this article up because people think that by the word "psychology" it means simply emotional or mental issues related to eating and that is not the case. For some people, there are issues with the chemical receptors inside of the brain that do not trigger correctly- they do not feel full even though they have eaten way more food than they need. They may not feel hungry at all but force themselves to eat because of habit. It is very complex, but unfortunately there are many people who are fighting against having obesity listed in the DSM-IV as an eating disorder.

  
  about 7 years ago
You May Also Like
What Triggers Obesity?
My name is Jamie Hodgkinson and I am the manager of Hillmotts Fitness Retreat. I have been studying obesity, obsessively for the last two years. We take groups of 10 people a week and I spend all week training them and getting to know them. Over time I have started…
By: jamie4 in  Health and Fitness  >  Weight Loss   Nov 22, 2012  
1
  Likes: 4

Obesity And Discrimination: Workplace Obesity Discrimination Has Some Surprises
Managers who feel that they are good to better than average looking are more likely to discriminate against women who are overweight or obese according to a study that has been published to the International Journal of Obesity. In the study, led by Dr. Kerry O'Brien, asked participants to review…
By:  in  Health and Fitness  >  Obesity   May 07, 2012  
2
  Likes: 1

Obesity A Condition Of Note
Obesity is an important condition to note since it affects the general state of health world-wide and poses a serious financial and human resource burden in most systems. This condition has increased markedly in the past few years, this suggests that there is an urgent need to stop it. The…
By: Themba Mhlongo in  Health and Fitness  >  Weight Loss   May 19, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Will Psychology Take A Bigger Stand In Obesity In the Near Future?
If you think that psychologists and the mental health profession have nothing to do with weight loss, obesity and your physical well being, you might be deluding yourself. For the most part, people do not gain weight, at least not enough weight to qualify as medically obese just because they…
By:  in  Health and Fitness  >  Obesity   Jul 20, 2012  
3
  Likes: 3

How to Reverse Obesity
If you're struggling with your weight and are wondering how to reverse obesity you must first understand that you are not alone in this battle. In fact, there are over 60 million American aged 25 and over who are suffering from obesity and obesity-related illnesses. Many people who hear the…
By: Sara Reynolds in  Health and Fitness  >  Obesity   May 16, 2011  
2
  Likes: 9

Is A World With 100% Obesity In Our Future?
The Journal of Obesity contains a report that is sending shivers of fear up the spine of nearly everyone who reads it. It has also sparked debate in the health and fitness world over the possibility of several very dire predictions. The first estimates that by the year 2030, 86%…
By: Cara M in  Health and Fitness  >  Obesity   Aug 23, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

How Your Doctor's Weight May Influence How He Treats Your Obesity
Most people who are overweight know that they are that, but may not know that they are obese. They are probably convinced that they will go to their doctor and get the correct diagnosis as well as advice about their health, diet and exercise tips so that they can make…
By:  in  Health and Fitness  >  Obesity   May 07, 2012  
5
  Likes: 5

Obesity: It Might Be Genetic (at Least A Little)
Obese people are not getting a free pass, nor are they being let off the hook but researchers in the UK have identified several sets of genes that may stack the deck against them. Ruth Loos, a member of the Genetic Aetiology of Obesity Program at the Institute of Metabolic…
By: Cara M in  Health and Fitness  >  Obesity   Jul 19, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

When Does Obesity Become Fat – When You're Told, Or When You Feel?
This has nothing to do with child obesity! When are you obese, and when are you fat? That is the question here, about to receive exploration via the mental compounding of self judgement. Obese, described as “excessively fat” and fat, described as “having an over-abundance of flesh”, now who can…
By: Rob Ainslie in  Health and Fitness  >  Obesity   Apr 29, 2012  
44
  Likes: 10

Weight Loss - What Really Causes Obesity
2012-09-10_03_Weight Loss - What Really Causes Obesity There are many purported reasons why we get fat, but the one thing that overshadows them all is simply overeating. Though this does not account for every instance, it does for most. It's more than just overeating though, in most cases. There are…
By: Daniel Euergetes in  Health and Fitness  >  Alternative   Sep 11, 2012  
2
  Likes: 2

The Obesity Debate: Is it A Condition Or A Disease
A few weeks ago the American Medical Association officially classified obesity as a disease and already the debate has begun. Is obesity a disease or is it merely a condition precipitated by the individual’s own behavior and lifestyle? The answer to this question is not immediately clear, but one thing…
By: Des Forbes in  Health and Fitness  >  Hypertension   Jul 10, 2013  
4
  Likes: 1

Will Peer Counseling Stem Teen Obesity In the Us?
Obesity is an ongoing problem worldwide but no other country is seeing the potential for nearly one hundred percent obesity rates like the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that that is exactly what could be looming in the near future if something is not…
By: Cara M in  Health and Fitness  >  Obesity   Oct 07, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Obesity, Problems With Society
I believe that one of the problems that lead to obesity, problems with soceity, is our environment, that appears to vastly, encourage people to become preoccupied with food and with eating. For example I find that when I go shopping there are hundreds of food choices to make a selection…
By: Katie Sheldon in  Health and Fitness  >  Obesity   Apr 22, 2013  
0
  Likes: 0

The Obesity News In the United States Keeps Getting Worse
In 1995, the obesity rates of all fifty states in the US were under 20%. In 2011, the news is grim: there is only one state remaining under that number , but just barely. Colorado has the distinction of the only state in the union at 19.8% And, it gets…
By: Cara M in  Health and Fitness  >  Obesity   Jul 12, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Prevent Obesity Among Pets
Many of us think obesity is not a problem in general and won't even think about it when it comes to our pets. But this is not true and obesity is very common among pets especially dogs and cats. When you see your cat's belly touching the floor that is…
By: Arc in  Pets   Feb 15, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

Article Views: 2058    Report this Article