Why We Overeat

"Most of us have done our share of out-of-control eating, whether it’s polishing off a family-size bag of potato chips without noticing or eating all the chocolates in the Valentine’s sampler—and we’ve probably felt at least a little guilty for overindulging. But if you find yourself having those “slip-ups” fairly regularly—or if your eating causes you so much shame that you have to do it in secret—your eating issues might be cause for concern," states Joyce Hendley of Eatingwell.com.

"Most experts believe binge eating is much more prevalent than any survey can measure. 'Our findings only document people whose eating problems are clinically significant and causing marked distress—and that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg,' says James Hudson, M.D., Sc.D., director of the psychiatric epidemiology research program at McLean Hospital and lead author of the national eating disorders survey. 'Because there’s so much shame associated with eating disorders, a lot of people aren’t willing to admit they have a problem. We suspect there’s a much larger group of people who aren’t binging as often or as intensely, but nevertheless have tendencies toward out-of-control eating,' Hudson continues. 'That’s hard to quantify in a survey, but it’s out there.”

"What makes us decide to eat, or not eat, begins in the hypothalamus, a key control center at the base of the brain, explains Mary Boggiano, Ph.D., a psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who has extensively researched neurochemical changes associated with dieting and binging. 'The hypothalamus is what induces satiety or hunger, depending on our caloric needs,' she says. 'But when it comes to binge eating, which really isn’t about true hunger or satiety, normal hypothalamic function may get overpowered.' The parts of the brain that govern rational responses, like the neocortex (“I need sleep, not that pint of Ben & Jerry’s”) get overridden, too, she explains. What seem to win out are other, connected brain structures that form the 'feeling parts of the brain,' she says—regions like the amygdala (which plays a role in attaching emotional meanings to various stimuli) and the nucleus accumbens (involved in emotions, addictions and pleasure-seeking behavior). For some of us, this inner war with our rational sides and our primal urges to stock up on calories happens dozens of times daily—or more."

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avenuegirl said...

I find myself to be the perpetual snacker/grazer.

Thank you so much for all your time and efforts in helping to expose Kimkins
and the other great information for dieters that your site offers.

MrsMenopausal said...

Avenuegirl! Thanks for commenting.