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Obesity, A True Issue In The United States

1371 words - 5 pages

How many of us can say we have truly been hungry? Not the “my stomach is growling” type of hunger that is our body reminding us it is time to input fuel, but the all encompassing painful kind resulting from days of not having anything considered a meal. The kind of hunger that is so much of a constant ache in your gut that you wouldn’t really know what it means to NOT be hungry? I am willing to wager few, if any of you can answer yes. The simple answer to that question is that obesity has doubled since 1980 (WHO).
Currently there are two main ideas behind the causes of obesity in Adults. The first cause is based on the mind-body relationship. In a paper written for the American Journal of Psychotherapy, Sylvia R. Karasu, M.D. states “Psychological factors include the relationship of mind to brain, particularly as it relates to eating and food choice, cognitive factors involved in self-regulation, motivation and self-efficacy, perceptions of prejudice and discrimination, as well as increased prevalence of psychiatric symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, among the obese.” (Karasu). This reasoning appears to be sound considering there are so many facets to how the human body works. Our lives are directly effected by the choices we make on a daily basis. Those choices in turn, are made when we respond to events that directly effect us as well as our emotional response.
Ordinary decisions can be adversely affected by anxiety, depression, or even happiness. We also have the higher thinking skills that allow us to rationalize what is right or wrong when we make food choices. You know that yes cheesecake is delicious, but it is fat and calorie filled. You can from there make the decision to have a slice or not. But are you making that decision or is that decision a result of the hard day at work you've just had or a family issue that is causing stress?
This type of overeating is commonly known as “emotional eating”. Consuming unnecessary calories in response to a stressful situation that resulted in a type of fight or flight situation. Chemicals are released in our bodies that trigger the need to prepare for the perceived danger by stocking up on energy. Constant stressful environments provide for a constant release of these type of hormones even if not necessary. Our bodies are well designed, but not able to cope with the constant stresses of today or the ready availability of food (Marano)
Without the ability of our bodies to appropriately compensate for new and stronger stress situations added to the fact that the act of eating produces a tangible chemical reaction resulting in a calming effect, enforcing the reasoning being a psychological cause.
Along with this greater amount of stress comes the lack of motivation or time to get the physical activity that would be an integral part of counter acting not only the additional caloric intake but also the stress hormones themselves.
Unfortunately, current lifestyles are rife with...

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