19 Jan
2011

Endocrine Influence
Over the years, many people have attributed obesity to problems with their thyroid gland. They claimed that an underactive thyroid impeded their ability to burn calories.
This belief substituted an organic cause for individual responsibility for obesity. How many obesity problems may justifiably be blamed on a poorly functioning thyroid? Most authorities agree that less than 2 percent of the obese population have a thyroid problem and can trace their weight problems to a metabolic or hormone imbalance.

Psychosocial Factors
The relationship of weight problems to deeply rooted emotional insecurities, needs, and wants remains uncertain. Food is often used as a reward for good behavior in childhood. As adults face unemployment, broken relationships, financial uncertainty, fears about health and other problems, the bright spot in the day is often “what’s on the table for dinner” or “we’re going to that restaurant tonight.” Again, the research underlying this theory is controversial. What is certain is that in mainstream America, eating tends to be a focal point of people’s lives, and the comfort foods of childhood may provide a salve for painful social pressures. Eating is essentially a social ritual associated with companionship, celebration and enjoyment. The intimate dinner for two, the office party complete with snacks, and the picnic at the beach all center on eating. Is it any wonder that for many people the social emphasis on the eating experience is a major obstacle to successful dieting? Although some restaurants offer menu items designed to aid dieters, many people have difficulty choosing responsibly when confronted with an entire menu of delicious, fattening foods.
Some theorists have contended that obese people tend to ignore internal cues of hunger and are more likely to the clock as a guide for “time to eat” than real hunger cues, studies refute this hypothesis.
*12/277/5*

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