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Health Psychology


BMI 40; Class 3 obesity; Extreme Risk ... What is obesity? ... Social/Psychological Effects of Obesity ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Health Psychology

Health Psychology
  • Obesity Part 1
  • Chapter 8
  • PY 470 Hudiburg

What is obesity?
  • Ways to determine Ideal Body Weight body
    composition, especially fat
  • Weight for Height Tables
  • Metropolitan Life Insurance Table Table 8.1, p.
  • Body Mass Index
  • Weight (kg)/ height (MxM)
  • or (weight (lb)/ height (in x in) )x 705
  • For example 510 person weighing 150
  • BMI (150/ (70 x70)) x 705 21.6
  • compare to Table 8.2, p. 270-271

BMI Classifications
  • BMI 19-25 Normal Low Risk
  • BMI 25-30 Moderately overweight Some Risk
  • BMI 30-35 Class 1 obesity High Risk
  • BMI 35-40 Class 2 obesity Very High Risk
  • BMIgt 40 Class 3 obesity Extreme Risk

BMI gt 30, or 30 lbs. overweight for 5'4" person
for 2005 - CDC
What is obesity?
  • Americans overweight 66 adults (BMI 25-29),
    23 obese CDC (2003) school age obesity 15
  • Approximately 325,000 deaths and 39 to 52
    billion in health care costs have been attributed
    to obesity annually (Flegal, Carroll, Ogden,
    Johnson, 2002).
  • Rates by gender and ethnic group F 8.1, p. 272
  • 33 increase in the past 20 years in U.S.
  • Rates in other countries have increased F 8.2,
    p. 273

What are the consequences of obesity?
  • Physical consequences
  • increased risks of hypertension, kidney disease,
    diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some type
    of cancer
  • Some studies have found as much as a seven-fold
    increase in coronary heart disease (CHD) with a
    BMI of 35 or greater (Ellis, Elliott, Horrigan,
    Raymond, Howell, 1996).
  • Manson et al. (1990) F 8.3, p. 273, women in
    top 20 BMI are 3 ½ times more likely to die from
    CHD than lowest 20 BMI based on 115,886 women
    30-55 years old in 1976
  • Lowest rate of CHD 18.6 23 BMI for females and
    19.9 22.6 BMI for males American Cancer
  • Problems with type 2 diabetes 80 of case are
    obese and concern for growing number of
    overweight children and adolescences Sinha et
    al. (2000)

Social/Psychological Effects of Obesity
  • Being perceived as obese can affect how you are
    treated and how you feel about yourself.
  • Stereotype obese as slow, lazy, and sloppy, less
    sincere, less friendly, meaner, and more
    obnoxious Rychman et al. (1989)
  • Black women are less critical of large black
    women than white women are of large white women
  • Obese people are frequently victims of ridicule
    and job discrimination
  • Obese women are less likely to be married and
    make less money than comparison groups
  • Weight discrimination is greater than race and
    gender discrimination and occurs at every stage
    of employment (hiring, placement, promotion,
    compensation, discipline, and discharge)
  • Negative social attitudes even in young children
    age 5 Richardson et al. (1961)
  • Reasons for negative attitudes it under the
    persons control he/she could stop eating if
    he/she wanted to stop Dejon (1980) study of
    likeability of normal weight and overweight
    pictures of girls
  • Personality characteristics are the same for
    obese and non-obese persons

Genetic Factors
  • Twin studies reveal a genetic influence on body
    weight - F 8.5, p. 276 Grile Pogue-Geile
  • Weight resemble those of biological parents
  • Identical twins have closely similar weights and
    BMI, even when reared apart -
  • Being overweight is not simply a matter of
    sacrificing too many hot fudge sundaes
  • Losing weight is not merely a matter of mind over
  • Stronger relationship between adopted childrens
    and biological parents weight than adopted
    parents weight F 8.5, p. 276
  • Obese parents and obese children 7 neither
    parent, 40 one parent, and 80 both parents

Causes for Obesity Genetic Inheritance
  • Leptin a protein found that suppresses appetite
    in animals and increases metabolism
  • Overweight animals lack the protein Leptin
  • Overweight people arent as responsive to Leptin
    as are normal weight people. Leptin is actually
    higher in overweight people than normal weight
  • Higher in eating disorders (i.e., BED), higher in
    sleep deprived, Anorexia Nervous have
  • Metabolism rates influenced by genes high rates
    dont gain and low rates gains weight
  • Food preferences for obese men and women Table
    8.3, p. 277 the comfort food?

Set Point Theory
  • The point at which an individuals weight
    thermostat is set
  • When body falls below this weight,
  • an increase in hunger and
  • lowered metabolic rate acts to restore the lost
  • energy expenditure decreases
  • Some researchers doubt that the body has a
    precise set point that drives hunger and believe
    slow, sustained changes in body weight can alter
    ones set point
  • Hunger is determined by many factors, including
    learned incentives.

Basal Metabolic Rate
  • The bodys resting rate of energy expenditure
  • To maintain the bodys set point weight, your
    body adjusts not only food intake and energy
    output but also the metabolic rate.
  • By the end of their 24 week semi starvation, the
    subjects in Ancel et al. (1950) research had
    stabilized at ¾ their normal weight while
    eating half of what they previously did. Study
    was done in the 1930s in Minnesota.
  • In a reverse experiment (Levine et al., 1999) in
    which volunteers were overfed 1000 calories a day
    for 8 wks some gain average of 9 lbs. when
    others 1 lb. - those who gained the least weight
    tended to spend the caloric energy fidgeting more.

Genetic factors or environmental factors?
  • Genes mostly determine why one person today is
    heavier than another. Environment mostly
    determines why people are heavier today than 50
    years ago.
  • While the average North American woman weighs
    more than her counterpart of 40 years ago and
    obesity rates are increasing, todays average
    Miss America contestant weights about 15 pounds
    less than 40 years ago.
  • Genetic factors predict 40-70 of variation in
  • Genes for weight gain predisposes some
    individuals towards weight gain
  • Environment determines which of those individuals
    actually gain weight

Genetic factors or environmental factors?
  • Genes do not totally predict weight
  • rates of obesity in US have increased
    dramatically in recent years
  • people with same genetic make-up who live in
    different areas of the world often have different
    body weights (e.g., Japanese who move to Hawaii
    are heavier than those who stay in Japan)

How do psychological factors influence eating
(and overeating)?
  • Internal-external hypothesis
  • people ignore internal cues (i.e., hunger), and
    pay attention to external cues (i.e., taste,
    smell, variety)
  • Limitations -people of normal weight are not
    particularly good at interpreting internal
    signals for hunger
  • people of varying weights are good at responding
    to external cues for eating

Internal/external hypothesis
  • PUSHED by physiological state (internal) and
    PULLED by psychological state (external).
  • External Incentives and Hunger
  • Judity Rodin and Joyce Slochower (1976)
  • External girls (could not resist MMs) gained the
    most weight.
  • Rodin (1984)
  • Subjects had gone 18 hours without food
  • While blood samples were taken a juicy steak was
    wheled in, crackling as it was taken off the
  • Rodin monitored their rising blood insulin levels
    and their feelings of hunger
  • Externals had the greatest insulin increase and
    accompanying hunger response.
  • External incentive (steak) affects internal
    physiological state.

Internal/external hypothesis
  • Increased variety of foods leads to increased
    consumption even in rats Sclafani Spring
  • Box 8.1, p. 279 Schacter et al. (1968) test of
    the internal/external hypothesis. Used a cracker
    rating test, the number of crackers eating by
    normal weight persons was influence by just eaten
    a large meal but there was no influence for
    overweight persons F 8.6, p. 280
  • Nisbett (1968) ice cream study used good-tasting
    and bad-tasting ice cream, neither non obese nor
    obese participants ate much bad-tasting ice cream
    but the obese participants ate much more
    good-tasting ice cream than non obese
  • Culture and Hunger
  • Cultural preferences vary with exposure
  • We tend to dislike unfamiliar (including novel
  • Research suggests with repeated exposure , their
    appreciation for new tastes increases exposure
    to one set of novel foods increases willingness
    to try another.
  • Little recent support for hypothesis

How do psychological factors influence eating
(and overeating)?
  • Mood regulation
  • people eat to make themselves feel better when
    they experience stress, anxiety, or depression
    Pine (1985)
  • this tendency is more common for women than men
  • Females eat more when depressed than males,
    college student study by Rozin Fallon (1988)
  • mixed evidence obese students eat more during
    exam period than students of normal weight (no
    difference during less stressful times). Stress
    does not lead everyone to overeat, especially men.

How do psychological factors influence eating
(and overeating)?
  • Restraint theory internal physiological signals
    cue hunger Herman Pevy (1984)
  • when people are trying to lose weight they ignore
    internal signals, and use cognitive rules to
    limit their intake
  • Cognitive rules related to forbidden foods and
    all-or-none approach. If violated all is lost
    therefore over consumption occurs
  • Herman Mack (1975) found in a study when
    participants were given either none (control),
    one, or two milkshakes prior to tasting three ice
    creams to rate. Participants were allowed to eat
    as much ice cream to get a rating. Data in F.
    8.7, p. 283, dieters consumed more than non
    dieters as compared to controls.
  • Mood influences eating in restrained eaters, when
    played sad music restrained eaters ate more F
    8.8, p. 285
  • Restraint theory not always a good predictor of
    eating behavior Lowe (1993)

How do psychological factors influence eating
(and overeating)?
  • Lifestyle and culture
  • people eat more when with others social cues
    The turkey eating orgy and dont forget the pecan
    pie with ice cream.
  • What mothers eat while pregnant may influence
    taste preferences in children Mennela et al.
    (2001) study with expectant mothers drinking
    carrot juice
  • culture influences types of food and tastes dog
    or snake for dinner? Bugs are a good source of
  • cultural factors like availability and amount of
    food contribute to obesity U.S. has highest
    rate of obesity change in proportions over the
    years, the supersize generation and video games.

Portion size?
Big Texan Steak Ranch Home of the free 72 ounce
steak dinner- eat it in an hour and its free (if
not, its 72). Are you man, or woman, enough?
About 42,000 have tried and 8,000 have succeeded.
Pro Wrestler Klondike Bill ate two in an hour
back in the 1960s, while the quickest anyone
finished was in 9 1/2 minutes by Frank Pastore
(he has done it 7 times) in 1987, former major
league pitcher and now religious radio talk host.
An 11 year old has succeeded.
Portion size?
  • Largest Hamburger The Absolutely Ridiculous
    Burger was recently prepared in February 2008 at
    Mallies Sports Bar and Grill in Detroit. The
    burger weighs 134 pounds, with cheese and bacon.
    The bun weighs 50 pounds. The burger must be
    order 24 in advance and takes 12 hours to prepare
    and costs 350. Previous record was 123 pounds.
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