If you think the answer is because people are eating more food, that is a wrong answer because the next question would be: Why people are eating more? The answer lies in why this worldwide trend for obesity is getting stronger. Before we answer this question, let us first see the general trends. According to figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO), these are the statistics:
1-Worldwide obesity has almost doubled since 1980. In 2008, more than 1.4 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight. Obesity rates have risen three-fold or more since 1980 in some areas of North America, the United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific Islands, Australasia and China.
2. Women are fatter than men: 200 million men compared to 300 million women were obese, in 2008.
3. Overweight and obesity are the fifth leading risk for global deaths . At least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese.
4. More than 40 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2011.
5. Out of 22 industrialized countries, the US has the highest obesity statistics . 2/3 of Americans over age 20 are overweight, & nearly 1/3 of Americans over age 20 are obese.
Common Causes of Obesity
The causes are variable and include:
1-Watching TV: More people and especially children are spending more time on TV.
2-Eating food of more calories: more fatty food are now available. TV commercials also promote eating high-calorie foods
3. Less exercise and more inactivity: Changes in transportation modes made more people less likely to move physically. More work pressures and longer working times result in less exercise.
4-Genetic causes: some people become fat because of their parents who are also fat.
5-Hormones imbalances: Some persons become very fat because of their hormones imbalances.
6-Metabolism and age: it is a known scientific fact that as you grow in age, your metabolic rate decreases which means the rate you burned consumed calories will be slower.
These causes are known to almost everyone. Nothing new about them. These causes can promote the trend towards obesity, worldwide. Yes, they can make people more fat. However, these causes are not the major causes. We want to know why obesity level almost tripled in many regions around the world. We want to answer the questions:
What makes people eat more than before?
What is the drive behind eating more food?
Major Causes of Binge Eating:
The usual causes mentioned above are only secondary causes. Genetic causes are not proven, because some persons become fat out of modeling their parents, not out of genetic reasons. I myself have treated overweight for some persons, only by removing their model, nothing else. When they lose weight, they become, of course, very surprised because their modeling process was entirely unconscious. Hormone imbalances are not common, and even some people think they have it while actually they become fat because of other factors.
We know that hunger makes people eat, but that is under the “Natural” cycle. The trend now is that people start eating, not because of hunger, but rather because of other reasons. The reasons for more eating are all related to … emotional factors. Research shows that more persons start binge eating because of these emotional causes. Many persons (not all), eat more than they need to because of anger, sadness, boredom and / or depression. Some people start binge eating consciously while others unconsciously. More recent research is linking obesity to high stress level. Lack of sufficient sleep also contributes to obesity, according to a 2004 study that had 1,000 volunteers. Stress and lack of sleep are closely connected.
One emotional cause is “self sabotage”, especially in women. Women in bad relationships, develop this behavior, usually unconsciously. Some develop it consciously, but that is to sabotage the relationship, as if to “punish” the partner. Some wives become all of a sudden fat, usually because of lack of sexual fulfillment.
Some people cope with different kinds of pressures by binge eating. For them, it is a way of “releasing” that pressure. Scientific research shows that delicious food releases endorphins & serotonin in the body. These are called happiness hormones. No wonder that after eating a good meal, the mood becomes much better. It is because of these hormones. This creates like a “natural” tendency among people to eat more during bad times. It is like a good way to combat emotional pain. One example: Oprah Winfrey: she admitted in “Piers Morgan Tonight” that in 1998 after her film flop, it was a low point of her life, and that she ate 30 lbs. of macaroni and cheese in one night! Of course, not every person is Oprah, but according to the American Psychological Association, research shows that 51% of obese persons with binge eating also had major depression.
What To Do?
The unconscious mind can control the weight if suitable tools were used. Some tools can increase metabolic rate which means you can burn calories even without exercise. Rearranging the values of the person, can also be effective for weight control. Changing eating speed to a lower level is also helpful, because the brain signal of being full can have enough time to make you feel full. Coaches have many other tools that proved to be effective for weight control.