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Eating State Of Mind Essay

1550 words - 7 pages

“To say that obesity is caused by merely consuming too many calories is like saying that the only cause of the American Revolution was the Boston Tea Party.” A quote from Adelle Davis, one who believes obesity is caused by much more than we think. Obesity can be simply defined as the state of being well above one’s normal weight. Obesity is considered to be a chronic disease, similar to diabetes or high-blood pressure. Often, many people have the set idea that obesity and overeating simply occur from someone just doing it, and do not take into effect all the other forces that lead someone to an eating disorder. Several things such as psychological state of mind, one’s biology, or even ...view middle of the document...

This type of situation is referred to as the “chicken & egg case”, which means you do not know what comes first, and what is the cause or the effect. It is assumed that the two usually occur together, and a part of the brain called the HPA axis, links all of these things together. The HPA axis is responsible for releasing cortisol, the so-called "stress hormone." It plays a critical role in energy metabolism as well as other functions. The problem is, cortisol prompts the body to deposit fat around the abdomen, a pattern that is especially hazardous to health. Chronic stress also begets depression. (Lawson, 2003, 4)
"Obesity, depression and behavioral disorders have all been linked to abnormal functioning of the HPA axis," says Sarah Mustillo, Ph.D., of Duke University Medical Center. While social factors such as teasing and isolation may contribute to depression in obese kids, Mustillo believes the problem is much more complex. "It's probably a combination of social and biological factors," she says, noting, "There's an interaction between what's outside your body and what's inside." Obesity carries a large social stigma and may bring on depression if it negatively affects self-esteem, body image or social mobility. It may even disrupt the normal hormonal pathways. Then again, depression may also bring on obesity, if a child lacks the energy to exercise or is immobilized by stress. (Lawson, 2003, 7/8)
It is believed that only you can make yourself become overweight, however human biology tied in with genetics can contribute towards obesity. Often biological relatives pass on their similarities in body weight in future generations and Genetic factors also are beginning to be implicated in the degree of effectiveness of diet and physical activity interventions for weight reduction. (Obesity and Genetics, 2005, 6). Despite you possibly having genes that may lead to obesity or the even being overweight, rather than changing your genes you can change your attitude. All people hunger and desire to eat ranges and vary, and people can often still maintain that and keep control. Also, your metabolism is a contributing factor as well, and often people don’t take into account how much easier it is for the body process food for some people, and for some it is not as easy. You can always be the one in control, but overeating is often how people let themselves down and hurt themselves the most. Overeating correlates well also with “binge” eating, this is when you consume a large amount of food at a very rapid pace. People do not even understand or acknowledge that this style of this eating is what they are doing. Compulsive overeating is characterized by an addiction to food. Compulsive overeater's use food as a way to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and daily problems. Emotional eating has to do with how many hours you spend preoccupy with thoughts about what you are eating. (Corner, 2008, 7)
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