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Thread: Obesity/Psychology.

  1. #1 Obesity/Psychology. 
    Forum Ph.D. stander-j's Avatar
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    Have any of you ever heard that people with weight problems always feel hungry? I've heard it a couple of times, and I've been wondering if there is any evidence for this. If it were true, would you speculate it's more akin to a Psychological factor, or a biological one?

    Do you think conquering weight-loss is about willpower, or are there other factors that play a role?

    Just to clarify, we aren't talking about eating disorders - we're just talking about, for lack of a better word, the average obese person.

    Anyone care to shed some light on this, or just share your view on the subject in general?


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    Yes.

    Both to the fact that some of these unfortunate people are always hungry. And yes to the fact that it can be both psychological and organic.

    And no. We do not fully understand what is going on.

    Conquering obesity is not easy. Losing weight is easy, but keeping it off requires superhuman will power, and most of us are not superman.


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    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    For stander-j. There is an obesity biological disposition ( I figure one/maybe more DNA Configurations within the Family DNA Duplex Code. ) showing up regularly within my Family Tree. My Mother was obese. My sister is obese. I would be more obese than I am if I didn't make the effort to eat healthy. Carrots, Beans, Peas, small potato, Grapes in Season, Tomatoes all year, small mature cheese, Rolled Oats/Weetbix Breakfast, small pasta, New Zealand Mussels as they come, Tasmanian shucked oysters, and that's just for Breakfast. So, I have to watch my weight. This is how I figure it. Our Obesity Biology Disposition may have occurred because our earlier Ancestors may have needed to metabilise available food resources into fat layers as protection against the pervailing weather conditions. The Genes hang on, something like our appendix, and tho we reside in warmer conditions now, the bloody Obesity gene kicks in. westwind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    For stander-j. There is an obesity biological disposition ( I figure one/maybe more DNA Configurations within the Family DNA Duplex Code. ) showing up regularly within my Family Tree. My Mother was obese. My sister is obese. I would be more obese than I am if I didn't make the effort to eat healthy. Carrots, Beans, Peas, small potato, Grapes in Season, Tomatoes all year, small mature cheese, Rolled Oats/Weetbix Breakfast, small pasta, New Zealand Mussels as they come, Tasmanian shucked oysters, and that's just for Breakfast. So, I have to watch my weight. This is how I figure it. Our Obesity Biology Disposition may have occurred because our earlier Ancestors may have needed to metabilise available food resources into fat layers as protection against the pervailing weather conditions. The Genes hang on, something like our appendix, and tho we reside in warmer conditions now, the bloody Obesity gene kicks in. westwind.
    Yeah, genetics seems to be the major factor - I know that the Bushmen of Southern Africa have traditionally, many still do, lived a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle. I don't know for certain, but I believe it is generally held that their bodies store fat more efficiently and frequently than other Africans and those of European descent. I also recall that they store fat differently than the aforementioned, again, I can't say for certain if that is true (Perhaps KALSTER would like to weigh in on those??).
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    For stander-j. The tragedy with spontanious or a metabolic tendency to retain manufactured fat-cells, as it were, putting aside this food resource for leaner times ahead, is that the whole person and the personality there in suffers a social penalty. Look, they were born to be fat. Fat people didn't ask to be born. They have to try twice, thrice, as hard to be taken seriously. Are they at the lower end of the economic scale? Are they more likely to live on the other side of the railway track? Generally speaking, yes. So, in the future, will the Genetic Police not issue copulation permits to couples pre-destined to raise fat children? ( Society as of the present time has to bear the economic cost of treating obese people, overloading the hospital systems ),. What really annoys me is the Advertising Media promoting Fitness Centres. They show delightful 17/18 year old beauty contest winners, or potenial winners, slim as an empty purse, treading it out on a push/walk machine. Now I ask you, what ignorant bullshit is this? westwind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    For stander-j. The tragedy with spontanious or a metabolic tendency to retain manufactured fat-cells, as it were, putting aside this food resource for leaner times ahead, is that the whole person and the personality there in suffers a social penalty. Look, they were born to be fat. Fat people didn't ask to be born. They have to try twice, thrice, as hard to be taken seriously. Are they at the lower end of the economic scale? Are they more likely to live on the other side of the railway track? Generally speaking, yes. So, in the future, will the Genetic Police not issue copulation permits to couples pre-destined to raise fat children? ( Society as of the present time has to bear the economic cost of treating obese people, overloading the hospital systems ),. What really annoys me is the Advertising Media promoting Fitness Centres. They show delightful 17/18 year old beauty contest winners, or potenial winners, slim as an empty purse, treading it out on a push/walk machine. Now I ask you, what ignorant bullshit is this? westwind.
    I don't quite understand the context of the other stuff this - but I will say the following: The prospects of the Coitus is a mighty persuader.
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    I'm convinced it has a lot to do with a person's self image also. If you feel like you deserve to be beautiful, you're more likely to adjust your diet spontaneously. If you feel insecure about your appearance, or the social standing that accompanies your weight is ingrained into your view of yourself, then you will begin to feel an unspecified uneasiness as your body changes form. I've tried this myself. I'm not really heavy, but I've been skinnier. I think subconsciously the fear of changing our social standing and/or relationships motivates us to stick with the status quo.

    In extreme cases, women who have been raped or sexually mistreated often gain weight out of a subconscious desire to make themselves less desirable to future potential predators. I think in general a lot of people who gain weight have been mistreated in the past in a way where the weight makes them feel safe from it. It makes it more difficult to get taken seriously, but sometimes that's a good thing.
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    "Psychological factor, or a biological one?"
    A combination of both probably as well as other factors, but Do Not forget about the environment(available food, activity/logistical ergonomics, culture)

    I'll throw some anecdotes just to illustrate; I know someone that gained about 10 lb in 2 weeks by going to the US(or replace that with by going on a carnival cruise if its easier to relate to), the first time I ordered a softdrink arriving from Europe I was flabergasted to get not a (normal from one perspective) glass but a huge tower, Ive seen restaurant plates with about 6 times the volume of a normal stomach(multiple meals served as if it was 1 meal), when I went there the urban area I was at was super Car oriented and not designed for pedestrians(it was not practical or not safe to walk or ride a bike in many types of errands and commute), Ive actually seen a woman drive around and around in circles to find a parking space less than 50 m away from the door of a freaking gym (where she would presumably walk on a treadmill). Culture is also related in many many ways(How you eat, what, when, how much, how its prepared, etc), and in addition though not directly related it appears inequality (social environment) can have negative impacts on many aspects including health (there's a Richard Wilkinson-something TED talk about the indirect effects of inequality). Something else, I dont know many vegetarians that have a weight problem, what they eat (and dont eat) probably has something to do with it. I also know someone that has a tyroid problem and used to be chubby before she got medication, I guess in that case the biological factor was not negligible.


    "If you feel like you deserve to be beautiful,"
    It sounds like Dr Phil-ish wishful thinking to me. If people can gain weight(presumably) and increase their statistical chance of getting a number of diseases by going to live in another country I dont think they assimilate the epidemiological patterns of the region because they dont "feel they deserve" to be healthy.
    Last edited by icewendigo; March 8th, 2012 at 02:40 PM.
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    It has to do with ghrelin and leptin levels. Leptin acts on receptors in the hypothalamus of the brain where it inhibits appetite. Ghrehlin stimulates hunger, although levels tend to be lower in the obese, with the exception of those suffering from Prader-Willi syndrome. Ghrelin also activates the mesolimbic cholinergic-dopaminergic reward circuit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    I'm convinced it has a lot to do with a person's self image also. If you feel like you deserve to be beautiful, you're more likely to adjust your diet spontaneously. If you feel insecure about your appearance, or the social standing that accompanies your weight is ingrained into your view of yourself, then you will begin to feel an unspecified uneasiness as your body changes form. I've tried this myself. I'm not really heavy, but I've been skinnier. I think subconsciously the fear of changing our social standing and/or relationships motivates us to stick with the status quo.

    In extreme cases, women who have been raped or sexually mistreated often gain weight out of a subconscious desire to make themselves less desirable to future potential predators. I think in general a lot of people who gain weight have been mistreated in the past in a way where the weight makes them feel safe from it. It makes it more difficult to get taken seriously, but sometimes that's a good thing.
    If that is true, it is ironic that sexual attractiveness is often not a factor in rape, whilst vulnerability IS. A more rational approach would be to focus on fitness to escape and/or resist such attacks. But psychology is often not rational, so we must witness...
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Arthur
    What makes you think that sexual attractiveness is not a factor in rape. Do you have any data to show that? I bet you do not.
    It should be easy to check. Police records of rape, matched against age of victim, since younger women are more sexually attractive. Do you have the data?
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    All I noticed through years that you can eat as much as you can if you have a good workout, possibly weight lifting cause you burn most callories and even if you didnt have great appetite you will develop it.
    The other thing that is proven that when we eat, brain releases certain chemicals(serotonin or endorphin, not sure) which make us feel good, maybe some people get addicted to that feeling over time...
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    One interesting study I saw published in Nature. A group at Yale induced a specific disorder in mice that caused Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, which altered the bacteria in the stomach, and these mice became obese. More interesting, when these obese mice were placed in the same living quarters as healthy mice, the otherwise healthy mice became obese. Subsequent testing found the new bacteria from the stomachs of the diseased mice in the stomachs of the otherwise healthy mice when the healthy mice started to show signs of obesity. One might say that obesity is contagious in this sense, which wouldn't be a wrong thing to say. However, speculation suggests that obesity spreading between mice might be due to the fact that mice sometimes eat feces, which would be the most logical mode of proliferation of stomach bacteria, but human beings do not (generally) do this.

    This post isn't necessarily an argument for or against any previous posts. I merely scanned for any mention of this finding, didn't see it, and thought I'd share.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Have any of you ever heard that people with weight problems always feel hungry? I've heard it a couple of times, and I've been wondering if there is any evidence for this. If it were true, would you speculate it's more akin to a Psychological factor, or a biological one?

    Do you think conquering weight-loss is about willpower, or are there other factors that play a role?

    Just to clarify, we aren't talking about eating disorders - we're just talking about, for lack of a better word, the average obese person.

    Anyone care to shed some light on this, or just share your view on the subject in general?
    I'v tryed it myself gained like 15 kg, with an insatiable appetite, it was because I ate the wrong stuff with very little nurishment, thus I felt hungry all the time because the lack of vitamines and minerlas, it's very logically.
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    And never forget the influence of culture.

    I remember reading a piece by an American which talked about feeling very odd when standing in a long queue waiting to get into some attraction or other in a European city. Couldn't understand why it felt so different from being 'at home'.

    Light dawned. Noone was eating or drinking.
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    Forum Ph.D. stander-j's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    And never forget the influence of culture.

    I remember reading a piece by an American which talked about feeling very odd when standing in a long queue waiting to get into some attraction or other in a European city. Couldn't understand why it felt so different from being 'at home'.

    Light dawned. Noone was eating or drinking.
    That's a good point. There seems to be a lot of moderation in European countries whereas that is lacking in N. America. The last time I went home (S. Africa) I stopped off in Holland, and even their beers on tap had sizes - pints were available, but it seemed most of the patrons went for the small size which was equivalent to about half a bottle of beer here in Canada. Come to think of it, everything I recall was in moderation in Holland... Do you think it may be attached to the age of the cultures in question?
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