Eating and relevant Psychological Disorders

Eating and relevant Psychological Disorders

Sometimes, abnormal eating habits may overwhelm and outshine the magnitude and intensity of internal drive of hunger in maintaining homeostasis within the individual. The salient eating disorders are as follow:

Anorexia nervosa: It is characterized by preoccupation with body weight and food as behavior is directed toward losing weight. It includes peculiar patterns of  handling foods, weight loss, intense fear of gaining weight, disturbance of body image and probable amenorrhoea (in women). 

Bulimia Nervosa: It is a overeating followed by guilt, depression, anger at oneself for doing so. There may be feeling of loss of control on eating but there is no significant loss of weight. It is often preceded by anorexia. This is a mental disorder consisting more complex features in addition to binge eating.

Binge Eating: It is characterized by eating large quantity of food in short duration of time. In obesity, binge eating represents a pattern of overeating which is not terminated purging or accompanied by preoccupation with body image.

Pica: It is quite different from abovementioned type of pathological eating beahaviour and considered as a mental disorder which is characterized by persistent eating of non-food products such as dirt, clay paper, plaster, cloths etc. It is usually found in children and often leads to deficiency of iron and zinc, lead poisoning, mental retardation.  

Eating behaviour and Obesity

Obesity is an excess accumulation of fat (i.e., 20% extra) in body. It has two types: hypertrophic (increase in cell size) and hyperplastic obesity (increase in cell number). Although, there are several reasons of obesity including personal factors and environmental conditions, however, improper, unhealthy and abnormal eating can lead to problem of obesity in people, as far as eating related determinants of obesity are concerned. Presently, approximately more than 65% adults of the USA are suffering from problem of obesity comprising 31% men and 33% women respectively. The main factors which predispose people to become as well as remain obese are genetic disposition/ family history of obesity (e.g., presence of Ob gene in individual), lack of exercise (e.g., less than ten thousand steps of brisk walking and aerobic exercises particularly), abundance and consumption of high calories foods, sedentary lifestyles, emotional factors (e.g., stress, hopelessness, anger affect eating habits facilitating obesity in all age-groups) etc. In modern times, our life is very fast, competitive and compact. In such scenario, People opt for junk foods for saving time and to concentrate on work for monetary gain rather than caring for health related issues. Their attraction towards a convenient repast of fast foods saves their time for focusing on work and earning.

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