Though, food intake is a complex process but it is considered as a robust natures reward. The exercise has positive effect on human health so is the good eating habits. The basic biological needs are met though healthy eating habits but the poor health conditions is also subjected to lesser nutritious diet. The process of eating is directly connected to brain. The thought of eating provokes due to the wish like desire of eating, eating due to hunger, eating due to preference of food or eating out of depression or anxiety.
Thus, the behavior of over-eating despite of caring about the desirous or intake of food due to need can make an individual obese. On the other hand, the person taking too much care about the quantity of food can turn him into an anorexic individual. Thus, the intake of food is motivated by the psychological drive. It is the condition of the brain which emphasizes the body to turn physically stout or obese.
The weight control and good nutritional practices though are two different issues in the health psychology but two of them are related. The positive psychological behaviors helps in eating healthy food and keeps the body safe from gaining extra pounds, however, the psychological disorders leads towards eating access or very less which either makes an individual obese or underweight, in both conditions the ultimate health of the person suffers. The loss of weight through starvation though leads to a lean body but this activity is undesirable for the health and leads to excessive loss of mal-nutrition which turns the body weaker.
Eating Healthy leads to a longer and Active Life
The behavior of eating is a similar behavior as like other choices like smoking, cycling, playing, and even drinking alcohol. When these are behaviors affects the health and wellness of the person then how come eating habits have little effect on the human mind and body. Rather, it is observed that around 70% of body behavior is controlled through eating habits. When a person intakes a favorite food product a hormone is released in the blood dopamine which generates the feeling of reward for the body. This let the person heals from any anxiety or depression. Therefore, the trend of obesity is drafted from here. People often like to eat chocolate and other products having caffeine just to bring down their anxiety level and to boost the personal performance.
It is a general perception that the eating process is according to the biological needs but it is more than just biology rather it is psychological needs that a person eats and then the food produces positive and negative energies on brain which further motivates them about their daily life matters. It is claimed by the psychologists and nutritionists that the reason behind increased obesity problem is due to the pressure built on the people’s minds. As the obese people are unable to understand the level of their stress and could not compare their current mental conditions with the past, thus, are unable to measure their eating habits and are gaining weight on a faster pace.
On the other hand the problem of anorexic develops due to similar conditions. However, the only difference is that how the brain responds towards the problem. Few people develop the urge of eating, whereas, others rejects the desire of eating. Thus, the science of understanding the healthy eating requires to first undergoing the psychological changes in the human mind which are actually leading towards a unhealthy lifestyle. By applying the psychological theories on the behavior changes helps in improving the health of the people facing the problems like hunger and weight gain.
Hunger and Obesity
The health professionals and the psychologists are concerned about the factors which are either raising the issues of obesity or the anorexic conditions among common people. Though, eating is always promoted but the problem of obesity has occurred as an epidemic for many societies. While studying the data of obesity for USA, it is reported by the World health organization’s that the rate of obesity is increasingly observed among woman, children and the people belonging from the lower income group. The science of obesity is simple it is the result of eating more than the requirement. Such as the individual doesn’t have the desire to eat but the inside is not fulfilled and he still feels the capacity of eating more. Such desires leads towards obese body.
However, the point to focus here is that why the psychological desires are differing from the digestion system, the reason behind this is anxiety, depression and pressures which is not letting the individual’s mind to connect with the digestive system. Both the systems are working differently and due to this the consumer intakes more amount of food. It doesn’t stop here and it is not the type of activity which will happen once rather it will occur regularly until the body and the mind are connected and both together are regulating the eating habits.
As an estimate of USA population for obesity, approximately 44 million of the adults are obese including 15% of the children and the 18% are the adolescents who are facing the shift from childhood to adolescence but are unable to accept these changes, thus, this puts them in anxiety.
The proposed percentage is increasing at a faster pace over a decade. Obesity is not only de-shaping the individuals but is the reason for causing the cardiac arrests, strokes, and diabetes mellitus and cancer problems at a younger age. The diabetes leads to blindness, kidney failure or permanent loss of limbs if not controlled on time. Thus, the obesity is not about dealing with increased weight issues but the corresponding health issues make it worse for the individual to revert back to a healthy lifestyle.
Outcomes of Psychological Disorders and Un-healthy Eating Practices
The American psychiatrist associations developed statiiscala manuals for diagnostics of mental disorders in 1994. The main focus of this diagnosis was that the mental disorders actually lead to obesity and the other health problems. Thus, the mental disorder among humans is correlated with the hypophagia, anhedonia, weight loss and hypercortisolism. The most commonly occurring types of depressions among patients are increased appetite, weight gain, reduced hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis and carbohydrate craving.
The people facing the problem like obesity of abdominal area are actually suffering from hyperactive HPA axis which is result of an increased response from the stimulation of corticotrophin hormone released in the brain. The activities like food intake, HPA axis, and Altered cortical are also linked with depression. The neural pathways which maintains the path between the desire for food and to the digestion process is affected by three factors, psychological disorders, food and eating behaviors.
The food intake happening in the neural circuitry has a link between the stress and the food intake behaviors. Thus, dysfunctional HPA axis and elevated glucocorticoid are the common grounds to the obesity and depression. The Glucocorticoid hormone has the capacity of effecting the behavioral functions, immune system, endocrine hormones, and the metabolic rate of the body. The HPA axis is the major link between the mood disorder and obesity. The neurological finding suggests that glucocorticoid hormone plays an important role in psychological disorder.
Mood related issues and Obesity
The anxiety level and the mood disorders are the actual factors behind the obesity problem. Thus, the major depression among humans leads to the over-eating problems. The problem of overeating is similar to the drug addiction issue. In this problem the individual is dependant psychologically and physically upon the intake of sugar that he cannot resist this desire and has to consume a certain amount else it drives the patient psychologically
The psychologists support this fact as well that an appropriate amount of intake of preferred food causes a drop in anxiety and stress level. No doubt the pleasure eating is the best medicine to the depression then the pathological medicines but the increased amount of the food intake leaders towards other health problems which may disturb the working and processing of the entire system.
Psychobiological Link of brain leading to linking addiction, hunger, obesity and, overeating
The mechanism of the brain with the name reward circuitry influences the brain to desire or try to take in the food of as much quantity as it can. This neural activity is not linked with the digestive system. The neural pathway which presents the link of the overeating to the psychological disorder is dopamine signaling the pathway which provokes the feeling of pleasure ad reward for eating the particular desired food.
Thus, the loss of control which leads to the food addiction similar to the drug addiction happens due to the impairments if the circuits involved in making decisions, thus, the neural pathways are unable to identify the need and correspond it to the particular demand. Lepton and ghrelin are the two hormones which regulate the procedures like hunger, promote satiety, homeostasis of energy and energy released from the food.
Both the hormones deal the cravings received from the mind, and maintain the eating disorder or hunger in the humans. However, if these hormones are not working in right way then it can disrupt the entire eating procedure. Thus, while studying obesity or the psychological disorder, the working of these two hormones shall be focused. The eating process which seems to be so simple is actually complex in nature. The neurotransmitters which increase the hunger drive and promote the individual to eat are dopamine, opioids, GABA and serotonin.
Among these neurotransmitters, the serotonin and the dopamine are closely linked to the eating behaviors of the individuals. The dopamine elevates the desire towards the biological wants and the serotonin transmitter helps to eating or intake of food. The dopamine is located in the center of brain receiving signals from the stem cells which are responsible for the autonomous behavior of the body towards any biological drive. The neuroaatomical reward circuitry and the Neurochemistry disciplines explain the addiction of human mind that is either towads the drugs or the food.
Food as a reward, Obesity and Addiction
Food where is necessity is also considered as a reward which has both the hedonic and homeostatic hormones. It depends upon the palatable food but has the capacity of engaging the pathways similar to that of the drugs. This action can also travel from casual eating towards the compulsive eating which is also a type of psychological disorder leading towards the obesity and over-eating issues. The neurobiological changes in the obese person are similar to the impairment observed in the drug patients.
Psychological and Biological factors influencing the Behavioral Eating
The biological reasons for eating are for surviving, living, growing, staying healthy and help the body to rejenuvate. However, despite of biological response the humans eat due to changing psychological needs. It happens either due to the hormonal changes occurring in the body which are disturbing the hormones and the pathways signaling the responses are facing the impairments.