Environmental Factors Of Obesity

859 Words 4 Pages
Throughout the history of humans the shifts in eating behaviors has resulted in an increased number of overweight and obese individuals throughout the world. As the majority of jobs become more sedentary the weight of those working has increased causing what some call an obesity epidemic. (Church, 2011) Although, not one single factor can be solely identified causing this large trend throughout the world. Rather, in the case of weight, physiological, psychological, and environmental factors all influence a person’s weight. Understanding the complex system of factors that explain the overall increase in individual weight can help reverse this epidemic and promote personal health as opposed to finding an optimum weight. For those struggling …show more content…
Within the brain the hypothalamus plays a key role in integrating the messages sent from the body and responding with signals to the body. The lateral and ventromedial hypothalamus provide the body with signals that identify when to eat and when to stop eating, respectively. Any physical or chemical damage to the hypothalamus disrupts this process and results in extreme overeating or undereating. In the past, our ancestors saw food high in sugar as a rare nutrient and consumed it when readily available. This biological inclination has been programed into us and carried through generations, although now consuming lots of foods high in sugar is not necessary for survival and contributes to overweight and obese individuals. (Waynforth, 2009) Nature plays a large role in how our bodies crave and process food that we eat and outdated reasons for consuming certain food groups can lead to weight …show more content…
An individual’s relationships both romantic and platonic influence their weight, with single, divorced, or those living alone demonstrating a greater likelihood to eat lower nutrient foods. (Crawford, 2010) This demonstrates the importance of social support in critical food choices affecting eating behaviors leading to obesity. Within a social unit such as a family or a work group behavioral modeling greatly affects what is consumed. The skills in selecting and preparing food is honed during formative years and affects future weight. Within America, large portion size also contributes to behavioral eating, especially at fast food establishments and restaurants. On top of those large portions eating with a group of friends or family increases food intake because an individual may be more focused on who they are with rather than what or how much they are eating. Depending on a person’s weight their behavioral eating habits vary within their own environment. When manipulating time on a clock within a controlled environment overweight people tended to respond more to external cues such as time and sight and smell of food when eating while individual’s within a normal weight range were more likely to respond to internal cues, like a growling stomach. (Schachter, 1968) Eating without

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