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Old 06-26-2009, 08:57 AM
 
Location: SoCal - Sherman Oaks & Woodland Hills
12,980 posts, read 17,246,071 times
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Default Obesity - As much a mental disease as physical disease?

I am beginning to believe that obesity IS as much of a mental illness/disease as it is a physical illness/disease. I compare it to alcoholism or drug addiction where people who suffer from it KNOW that its killing them, but they seem to either refuse to do anything about it, or they are simply just unable to do anything. Many (unlike alcoholics or drug addicts) simply dont even try and say "well, these are the cards I was dealt" or something similar.

All too often, when working with students/clients who are obese (and even talking to those here on CD) a common theme is that they dont want to, or simply cannot give up or change their eating habits. Tell them what they need to do and its always "Oh, can I still drink my diet cokes?", "I just love doughnuts" or "Its too hard to eat right". They just cant seem to get conscious control over their stomachs and taste buds even though they KNOW THEY ARE KILLING THEMSELVES.

Recommend an exercise program and they refuse or say "I cant do that", "Its too hard", "I dont have time", or they just opt for whatever is the easiest thing to do. Or worse yet, they opt for HCG shots and 500 calorie diets, "master cleanse" coffee colonics and fasting, gastric surgery, or any other number of DANGEROUS AND EXTREMELY UNHEALTHY methods to lose weight. They seem to ignore the medically and scientifically proven fact that YOUR BODY NEEDS PROPER NUTRITION TO RUN EFFICIENTLY. Whereas, you need to eat the right foods in the proper amounts to both maintain proper functioning of the bodys internal organs, and proper weight (loss). But instead, they opt for drinking lemon water, eating one meal per day and hope to lose weight.

I think the cause of the disconnect in knowing what needs to be done, but not doing it, or even trying to do it, is some form of mental disconnect/illness that prevents them from doing the right thing. Even though they may say "I try", "I want to do the right thing" or any other excuse, the bottom line is that they dont or worse yet, say "I just gave up".
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:13 AM
 
Location: In a delirium
2,588 posts, read 3,494,988 times
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I agree much of it is in their head - especially for those really obese and not just chubby. That's why you have so many yo-yo dieters and people looking for the magic weight-loss pill - or acai drink, these days. They want the weight loss without having to battle those horrible demons. It's rather awful. Maybe a psychologist will show up here and give a more extensive comment.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:21 AM
 
Location: SoCal - Sherman Oaks & Woodland Hills
12,980 posts, read 17,246,071 times
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There are those who are obese because of health problems, and those who have health problems because they are obese, but either way, you MUST know that drinking monavie, acai drinks, or other "magical elixirs" are not going to get you on the road to being physically fit/healthy.

Im thinking that it HAS to be some mental imbalance that makes people choose to continue to drink sodas, continue to eat fried foods, continue to eat sugars and fats when they know, THEY KNOW that they are further ruining their health. When I wanted to get in better health, I just stopped drinking soda. I just stopped and havent had a sip of one in months. Why? Because I value my health and want to be around to see my kid(s) grow up.

This same "mental imbalance" is what makes they say things like "I dont want to deprive myself of ......" whatever. When your health/life is at risk choosing not to eat/drink harmful foods is not "depriving" yourself, its taking care of yourself. Also, what you could be doing is depriving your children of the opportunity to have their parent around for them while growing up. That is extremely selfish. You'd rather deprive your children and family of having your around than deprive yourself from eating greasy unhealthy bad food? That is really sad.

Last edited by LaoTzuMindFu; 06-26-2009 at 10:12 AM..
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
500 posts, read 911,595 times
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Not sure about Adult obesity, but I blame childhood obesity on Parents.

I think everything starts from home, attitude, morals, ethics, eating habits, etc.

When I was younger I was super chubby and my parents let me eat whatever I wanted. But they ended up putting me in sports and other recreational activites such as Tae Kwon Do. I ended up growing out of it and now I'm in good shape.

You got to feed kids healthy alternatives when they're young because one you start giving them Soda and fries at age 1 or 2 that's the type of food they'll get used too. Then you try to feed them fruit and vegetables, then you're in trouble.

Of course schools and peer pressure plays a big part but I think parents can be a big influence.

Oh, I think Obesity starts off as Mental, then it starts becoming a physical issue.
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Bay Area
2,381 posts, read 4,450,651 times
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I agree with you completely. Eating to such unhealthy extremes is self destructive as is drug use or other unhealthy and dangerous behavior. People use food to comfort sometimes as well, basically taking the place of love or other feelings and emotions. That is why diets do not work for these people, they need therapy in the form of psychological counseling along side of nutritional counseling.
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
1,744 posts, read 4,723,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBeez View Post
Im thinking that it HAS to be some mental imbalance that makes people choose to continue to drink sodas, continue to eat fried foods, continue to eat sugars and fats when they know, THEY KNOW that they are further ruining their health.

Actually we all have this. It's the "thrifty gene hypothesis". Throughout our evolutionary history humans that were able to gorge themselves during times of plenty and store energy as fat were going to be the ones who would survive periods of famine and reproduce. The problem is we still have this genetic tendency towards over eating (especially sugary foods) and we don't have the periods of famine to justify it and we certainly have more calorie-dense foods.

This isn't an excuse for obesity; we are all capable of making the right choices.
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:01 AM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
4,967 posts, read 5,840,744 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Rhino View Post
Actually we all have this. It's the "thrifty gene hypothesis". Throughout our evolutionary history humans that were able to gorge themselves during times of plenty and store energy as fat were going to be the ones who would survive periods of famine and reproduce. The problem is we still have this genetic tendency towards over eating (especially sugary foods) and we don't have the periods of famine to justify it and we certainly have more calorie-dense foods.

This isn't an excuse for obesity; we are all capable of making the right choices.

Totally agree here. Humans evolved to store food when possible because let's face it ... out there, we're VERY SMALL and had to use our brains to survive. Just look at Bear Grylls on Man vs. Wild to see my point (OK OK he isn't totally alone but still, it's an approximation).

The food industries are also to blame. High Fructose Corn Syrup, other sugar substitutes, and fat substitutes, etc. are terribly addictive. Other countries know this, and much more, studied them, and banned them. But the USA doesn't because of our corrupt and outdated political system. So we make up all this BS food that people love because it tastes good and well, panders to our psyche.

But little do they know that eating healthy and exercising will make yuou feel infinitely better.

I have no sympathy for obese people who don't have a bona fide medical excuse. It's totally our fault.
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:08 AM
 
Location: SoCal - Sherman Oaks & Woodland Hills
12,980 posts, read 17,246,071 times
Reputation: 10491
Quote:
Originally Posted by El Rhino View Post
Actually we all have this. It's the "thrifty gene hypothesis". Throughout our evolutionary history humans that were able to gorge themselves during times of plenty and store energy as fat were going to be the ones who would survive periods of famine and reproduce. The problem is we still have this genetic tendency towards over eating (especially sugary foods) and we don't have the periods of famine to justify it and we certainly have more calorie-dense foods.

This isn't an excuse for obesity; we are all capable of making the right choices.
You last sentence really sums things up. Its the choices we make that ultimately leads us down the path of either being obese and dying early, or becoming healthy and (hopefully) leading a longer, happier, fulfilling life.

Its just like I could CHOOSE to eat a greasy double bacon cheeseburger with fried egg and Coke or I could opt for a grilled chicken breast on a bed of brown rice and broccoli and 3 ounces of red wine. The thing is, I have control over my mouth and stomach, I think that many many many obese people do not have this control. They KNOW its bad food, they KNOW it could kill them, the KNOW they are already obese, yet they still choose the bad thing instead of the good thing. I'll never understand how that can be so.

Same thing when it comes to exercise. Tell them you need to workout, run, do cardio, strength train, etc. but they choose to make excuses, spend money on ridiculous infomercial s*it that says "exercise the easy way" instead of doing what is needed for their health.
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:10 AM
 
Location: southern california
48,024 posts, read 43,529,396 times
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when you look in the mirror what is most prevalent.
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:40 AM
 
Location: Middle America
16,464 posts, read 13,045,586 times
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Many of the issues that tend to result in the type of behavior that leads to obesity can absolutely have psychological origins, and typically do. What makes people obese? Taking in more than they are burning off. The reasons why are varied and usually multiple, and there's ordinarily a lot going on mentally/emotionally that increases the likelihood of those reasons.
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