Why Do We Overeat?
It Feels Good, So We Do ItREAD MORE
In the 1990s the discovery of the appetite-control hormone leptin had obesity researchers very excited. Leptin was noted to signal to the brain the amount of fat mass available to the body for energy. When leptin levels indicated there was adequate energy, the brain would get the signal to stop taking in food. “We thought, at first, we could cure obesity by giving people more leptin,” says Philipp Scherer, Ph.D., director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “Just inject it into people! Of course, that wasn't the case. When we become obese we also become leptin resistant. Our brain no longer listens!” The interruption of this signaling system means that obese people tend to have higher blood levels of leptin, but it does not have the effect of “turning off” their intake of more food. LESS
A World of PlentyREAD MORE
Top 10 Heaviest Nations
Where in the world are people the heaviest? The nations with the most overweight and obese people tend to share some characteristics with number one, the United States: Adequate food resources, a modern sedentary lifestyle, and access to fast foods and convenience foods. Globally, more people who live in cities tend to be overweight or obese. They are more likely to have food close at hand and less likely to engage in physical labor.
|United States||30.6% of adults are obese|
How to Break the CycleREAD MORE
More Steps to Break the Cycle
- Drink more water Staying hydrated helps your metabolism and digestion, and also makes you feel full.
- Eat more dark, leafy greens Spinach, kale and bok choy are high in dietary fiber, which fills you up. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Slow down Your appetite-control hormones need time to work. During meals, eat half a serving then take a break and chat. You may find that you're full long before your plate is empty.
- Don't drink your fruits and vegetables Fruit and vegetable juices have many desirable nutrients, but none of the filling fiber that promotes digestion and a feeling of fullness. Another issue: Many fruit juices are high in natural sugars, causing your blood sugar levels to spike and fall precipitously. Replace your apple juice with a whole apple and a glass of water.
- Mind your cues Think about which situations prompt your overeating, and plan ahead. If you always overeat when you have dinner at a friend's house, have a little snack before you leave to stave off hunger.
- Talk to an expert The above tips won't hurt anyone, and may help you manage overeating. But your specific health history and habits may indicate that other steps would help you stop overeating. Talk to the health expert who knows you best, your personal physician, if you hope to change your eating habits.