school trips open the lunches their parents pack for them, gobble up the Oreos and Pop-Tarts and toss out the sandwiches” (Elmer-Dewitt).
A Harvard Health Report, “Weight Less, Live Longer,” discusses how many people donot realize that their appetite and diet can be closely related to many psychological factors. Any person who has ever binged on chips or cookies when they feel upset can understand this.Several studies have shown that people tend to eat more when they feel anxious, depressed, or have symptoms of other emotional disorders. Certain foods have been known to have a calmingeffect, although unfortunately it is usually the fattening foods that do. When a depressed personeats to feel better, they gain weight, and being overweight can in turn cause depression and theemotional problems that signal overeating. A vicious cycle begins. Being overweight can causemore emotional problems than just overeating, however. Sadly, obese people are very oftensocially shunned, judged, criticized, and made fun of. They have more trouble finding jobs,friends, and mates. Being discriminated against just adds to the emotional strain that overweight people have to deal with. Their depression from being obese can cause feelings of hopelessness,making it seem impossible for them to try to lose weight and change the way they look (WhyPeople Become Overweight). The book Food as a Drug describes some studies that have beendone to try and see if obesity could be considered the same as a drug dependency disorder. Foodcan sometimes be a powerful psychoactive substance, and “one way to view eating disorders isto appreciate that food is a complex mixture and that the body responds to food as it does tochemicals, such as those found in alcohol and other psychoactive drugs. Eating disorders aretherefore chemical disorders” (Food as a Drug).
The food we eat in America is another factor contributing to the nation’s obese population. The desire for junk food has rapidly replaced the desire for fruits and vegetables and
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