Overeating and Psychological Research

Overeating is a phenomenon that can be characterized in two dimensions. First, there is the constant need of a person to take in food (Thompson, 1996). There are conditions and instances where the person is compelled to take in something in order to satisfy a particular urge to eat. The unusual thing about this is that there are cases when the individual is not exactly experiencing hunger but is feeling the constant need to take in something. This means that the individual feels the need to satisfy something but is not hunger, which is supposedly the purpose of eating.

Second, there is continuous gain weight (Thompson, 1996). The “over” in the term “overeating” means that there is an excess of eating that leads to a particular impact in the weight of an individual. Biologically speaking, the gain in weight is because not everything that has been taken in by the individual is burned or used up. The behavior of overeating as described above is observed from a personal friend, who will be unnamed. His weight has been considerably large compared to the rest of our peers in the same age as he is.

Moreover, he is constantly seeking for food as if he has a hunger which can not be fulfilled by a single meal. When eating, there is the need to order for multiple viands and food courses in order to be satisfied with a particular meal. Despite the fact that our friends and peers observe his eating habits, this is not pointed out as we find it rude to simply meddle into his personal choices but concerns are constantly raised with regard to his health. When confronted with this, he usually points out that it is his only source of comfort and happiness.

Upon observation, it has been seen that this person feels anxiety and constant desire for something despite the fact that he has just gone through a particular meal. Moreover, there are certain preferences that have been formed when it comes to eating that makes the person interact with the food such as mixing certain kinds of food together and different sauces. This makes eating an experience and not simply bears the purpose of eating, satisfying the hunger of the individual, and acquiring nutrition.

In times of stressful situation or uncomfortable events, food suddenly seems to be the instrument used by him in addressing their difficult situations. It is even more apparent when there seems to be a need for this person to use food as a reward (Smit, n. d. ). On certain times, overeating gives the person more frustration than what he is currently experiencing because of the idea that he is not able to stop himself from doing something which he sees as excessive and is not good for his own health. More so, the idea that he is gaining weight, which affects his physical appearance is also a great concern for him.

However, it remains that this person has a better chance of gaining temporary relief from all of the difficulties he is facing when accompanied by food. Simply put, he expects a rather distinct and relieving experience from this particular experience. When one sees the condition through the psychological lens, it can be observed that among the causes which are related to overeating is depression (Stephens, 2008). Understanding the cognitive and the behavioral aspects of the condition, as it relates to depression, serves as the primary role of psychology in aiding the problem of overeating.

Moreover, the research methods employed in psychology and the standard procedures set here are considered to be useful in understanding the concerns for overeating. As for ethical considerations with regard to observation, there are certain implications that can be listed in relation to this. First, the individual being observed is not aware that he is actually being observed. This means that there is no consent from him and this is maintained with the intention of capturing the variable in its natural setting without any bias.

Second, one would have to consider that the respondent should be secured of his identity and confidentiality of information, which is not done for this observation paper. References Smit, S. (n. d. ). The psychology of overeating. Retrieved April 8, 2009, from http://www. elements4health. com/psychology-of-overeating. html. Stephens, L. (2008). Compulsive overeating. Retrieved April 8, 2009, from http://www. psychologytoday. com/conditions/overeating. html. Thompson, C. (1996). Compulsive overeating. Retrieved April 8, 2009, from http://www. mirror-mirror. org/compulsive. htm.

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