Sunday, March 3, 2013

First Reader: Obesity

                As I was reading this week’s chapters on obesity, I felt like I was familiar with a lot of information from reading various weight loss and health-related articles. Being pretty conscious about what I eat and how much I eat, I couldn’t help but sympathize with those who go on a healthy-eating streak only to come crashing down a few weeks later. The first time I seriously committed to a healthy eating plan, I went on a heavily-restricted diet consisting of not much more than limp salads and extra lean meat. As you would imagine, the plan backfired and I ended up with immense cravings for fatty, sugary, processed foods within a few weeks. Since then, I’ve learned that if you strip your diet of all fat and sugar—some which your body actually needs—then you’re likely to end up right back at square one. As was mentioned in chapter 3, “when individuals over restrict, they rebound with over consumption and ‘yo-yo’ between weight loss and regain” (Trevathan 80).
                Another topic that I find particularly interesting is the concept of satiety vs. hunger. There is a huge mental component in hunger, and there is a lot of evidence in our society today that suggests we don’t always eat because we are actually hungry. We may be eating for social reasons, because we are distracted, bored, or in many of my cases, stressed. In fact, studies have shown that it takes about 20 minutes for our bodies to recognize satiety. 20 minutes…it takes me half that time to down a meal. So it’s no wonder overeating has become such a problem, especially with larger portion sizes and abundance of food available everywhere. The point was made by Lieberman that we can no longer rely on internal cues to tell us when we’re full; so how exactly do we judge the point of satiety? It’s almost no surprise that obesity rates are climbing when eating has become an activity that requires so much self-control, but yet is made extremely difficult by all the temptations that surround us.   

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