Why do people overeat?

Many of us agree that food is a necessity but let’s just accept that we all love it. It is an essential part of our routine to sustain life. Certain foods can be of considerable advantage as they are loaded with a number of minerals and vitamins. These nutrients help keep us healthy and ensure smooth functioning of bodily systems. However, at times excessive consumption can be problematic when a person develops the habit of overeating. Several studies put into studying overeating have raised a cause for concern.

This article will look upon the problem of overeating. It will shed light on the problem itself and various causes for it. Finally, recommendations will be put forward as to how the condition can be overcome.

Why is overeating a problem?

For sure certain food items are healthy but only when taken in their right amount. On the other hand, some items themselves may not be healthy at all. Overconsuming them can be troublesome as it can lead to the development of medical problems.

The problems include but are not limited to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. In addition, overconsumption can also complicate the digestive process. People are reported to have suffered from diarrhea, acid reflux, and Bowel Irritable Syndrome when they binged ate. For a portion of the population, overeating can lead to serious discomfort as well.

While it may look easier to solve the problem of overeating by cutting down on food. However, the situation is far more complicated. People who binge eat are able to induce the production of dopamine. When the brain releases this chemical, it leads to a soothing and relaxed feeling. As a result, a person develops a food addiction habit.

There are, moreover, other reasons for the development of over-eating problem. People may do so based on their mood, emotion, social pressure or out of sheer habit. Regardless, it is important to acknowledge the condition as a serious problem and take necessary preventive steps.

Why people will tend to overeat?

The reasons may be many. It might happen when one is stress, or on the contrary, people will eat a lot when they are happy!

We will now look at some of the reasons for the overeating problem

Out of Social Pressure

If you find yourself hanging out with friends who are having food, then it might just be difficult to control. Research findings have claimed that people tend to eat more when they are involved in some sort of social gathering. Social eating can be a consequence of being in a constant state of pressure to eat more. Failure to do so might make you feel neglected. Thereby, to seek acceptance of the group at large, one may resort to eating a lot. Common forms of social eating include wine and alcohol parties, fast food challenges etc.

When you are bored

Rather interesting reason for overeating. If you find yourself having nothing to do all day, you will start munching on foods. A study conducted by the British Journal of Clinical Psychology found that boredom can propel people to consume high amounts of food. Particularly, people who belong to the young age group will develop the habit of boredom eating than others. However, jobless and old-age people spending the entire day at home are also the vulnerable victims of this mindless habit. Boredom eating can comprise munching on snacks, fast food and soft drinks.

Emotional and stress eating

Nutritionists believe that the habit of overeating is strongly linked with stressful and emotional situations. The people who argue for emotional eating argue that women are far more likely to be inflicted with this condition. This is because the female gender is more prone to intense emotional situations than men. They will cry more, will tend to enjoy happy occasions more etc. In addition, premenstrual syndrome or PMS the physical and emotional occurrences before period discharge can lead to overeating as well. Due to frequent mood swings that are experienced during this time, a woman will resort herself to eating all sorts of foods. Some professional nutritionists feel that there does remain a relationship between PMS and overeating. While on the other hand some professional reject the claim on the basis of gender stereotyping.

The argument for stress eating is that people will often eat more in situations that are deemed to be stressful. That could include the examination time period, failure of marriage, death in family etc. Those who eat during stress argue that food helps them feel relaxed. For certainly, there is scientific evidence to back up their claim. As mentioned earlier, food may induce a feeling of relaxation due to the secretion of dopamine. Patients suffering from anxiety and depression are also more likely to consume foods in higher amounts.

Some people get addicted to sugar

Yes, sugar is addictive, and it may become a serious cause for concern. The problem of being addicted to sugar is likely to be the case for children. Often parents find their children to be addicted to sugary substances like chocolates, sweets, and candies. The children find it rather difficult to not stop munching on these snacks. To add to the unfortunate part of the story, some parents are not even aware of this problem. An excessive amount of sugar can lead to severe medical complications developing in older age like diabetes and high blood pressure.

How to prevent overeating?

Overeating is a serious problem and should be alarming for most people out there. The following table will provide with some recommendations towards preventing this problem.

Step 1: Accepting your problem
The first major step towards preventing is to recognize that overeating is a problem. Some people tend to overlook it as an issue and continue practicing it. It is thereby important to acknowledge this harmful habit.
Step 2: Gaining meaningful help
Do not shy away from asking help from people. It can be difficult for some people to avoid the habit on their own. As a result, external support is required. Have someone who will monitor your diet and habit. If not, seek a professional nutritionists’ advice.
Step 3: Changing your surroundings
One important step is to be in a different environment altogether. The surrounding of a person can greatly affect a person’s eating habit. Be in an environment that is first stress-free and relaxing. Try avoiding gatherings where your peers push you towards social eating.
Step 4: Making gradual changes to your diet
For obvious reasons, you can’t get rid of the habit in a matter of days. The procedure should be a step by step procedure. Make amendments in your diet to include fruits and vegetables. By doing so, even when you feel like eating more, fruits/vegetables will not cause significant harm. Get rid of unhealthy snacks like fries and burgers. The trick is to have a restrictive diet characterized by moderate eating.





Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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