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Stress-related eating, mindfulness, and obesity

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Stress-related eating, mindfulness, and obesity.

Aaron Lamar Smith

Chaffey College

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what the article is about

This experiment shows the stresses that are in adulthood and stress eating. Showing psychological strains in certain people’s lifestyle and how do they deal with the stress related indicators of obesity. Things such as household income education level race sex all these will have a variable on two day to day daily stresses.

why it is important?

The obesity epidemic is a perfect storm of causes, ranging from economic to educational to social. Anyone who tells you there is one or even a few causes is plain ignorant. The truth is, there are so many driving factors that basically no comprehensive solution exists because there are too many problems about the society you’d need to fix, that have their own multifaceted causes as well. However, generally, you can say the main causes boil down to these things. Fast food corporations have pushed larger serving sizes on America, because the cost per meal is lower the larger the meal is (so selling in bulk is more profitable) and coupled with actively discouraging buying small portions by pricing them at a higher price per serving size (ex a small burger costing 1$ but a large being $1.30 which encourages buying that big burger).

Food manufacturers have loaded down meals with sugar, WAY more than what is necessary in foods, often in foods where sugar is not necessary (have you seen the sugar content of a gallon of milk?) because they know that sugar, or sugar substitutes like corn syrup, have a highly addictive effect on humans equivalent to taking drugs. Sugar in large quantities is of course really bad.

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Higher costs of living, coupled with lower wages, have led to a significant deprivation of personal time for the average American. Very few people have the time now to homecook their own meals (which are usually healthier) because they have faster, less healthy tv dinners they can buy. Note that American obesity is not evenly distributed, the worst affected areas are the poorest sections of America, especially the Appalachians.

Americans are exposed to severely misleading nutritional information, sometimes pushed by our own educational system (like the food pyramid). Fad diets are extremely common, and highly ineffective. It’s impossible to really list all the things wrong about our understanding of food in America, but most people are highly ignorant about how to lose weight because they are misled by scam artists with a product to sell and false promises.

The ability of most Americans to even cook for themselves has largely been lost. This is mostly related to the above two points, as our school system has largely cut cooking classes from the curriculum and as parents rely on home cooking less, their children don’t learn cooking at home.

, our media constantly pushes a narrative that losing weight is easy. You see it in Hollywood movies where weight loss is as easy as a 5-minute montage and in reality shows like weight watchers. Which all promote false information about how the diet works. The result is that people often allow themselves to become fat, thinking that dieting later can fix their body. Unfortunately, getting fat is like becoming permanently disabled, because you can never fully undo the damage done to your body chemistry. Even if you lose your weight, your body will much more easily put on fat in the future, leading most people who diet to gain all the weight they lost back. Suffice to say, America is trucked.

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what future research is proposed in the article

My opinion is overall of the research

I’m at a point these days where I eat very healthy, in general. I got interested in healthy eating and completely transformed my diet from lots of soda, fast food/take out processed stuff, etc. I’ve cut out almost all processed foods (except things like cheese and artificially flavored yogurt), artificial sugars, trans fat, and refined grains. I watch my calories, get plenty of protein, keep to a relatively low amount of healthy fats, and eat a huge amount of fruits and vegetables. Now that I’ve become interested in it, I find that I’m always thinking I could do something else to eat healthier. But all of the information I find is conflicting – like I should eat grains. I should never eat grains, carbs will kill me not eating carbs will destroy my brain, I need to eat 5 servings of this nut a day eating this nut causes cancer. How do I learn what’s accurate, or should I just keep doing what I’m doing? A lot of things, like buying organic and grass fed, are well beyond my budget anyway. When it comes to our bodies there is still a lot we don’t know and sometimes we find out that certain cells interact with certain things in ways we didn’t realize before. What sucks about this post is the fact that there are many variables to find a diet that works for that right person.

References

Cotter, E. W., & Kelly, N. R. (2018). Stress-related eating, mindfulness, and obesity. Health Psychology, 37(6), 516–525. https://doi-org.chaffey.idm.oclc.org/10.1037/hea0000614

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