Obesity and Eating Disorder

One of the strengths of studying eating disorders such as compulsive over-eating or anorexia nervosa from a purely biological perspective is that eating is a biological phenomenon that impacts the body and the mind. Starvation, as observed in non-anorexic subjects that have been forcibly starved, produces psychological effects that might be assumed to be the result of personal pathology, not simply restricting one's diet-such as depression, an obsession with food, obsessive-compulsive behavior, guilt, eating rituals, and a lack of sexual desire (Clark, 2000). Obese subjects may be socially ostracized from their peers from an early age, become unable to physically move around adequately and therefore are likely to be socially isolated, become obsessed with food and dieting, use overeating as a coping mechanism much like a drug, and all of these symptoms are the biological consequences of obesity and the fast and binge cycle, not necessarily personal, social and cultural defects that drive the individual to overeat.
To show an individual afflicted with an eating disorder that the starvation that triggers their obsession and fear of food, or the binging that may the biological result from repeated dieting, may be a comforting.It is biology, not weakness of the will, that is the reason that the obese person fails to reduce or the anorexic is unhappy.
However, the psychological reasons that drive a person to starve and to relapse into anorexia nervosa outside of a contrived experiment or situation are not purely explained by biology. Why do some people find the psychological effects of anorexia to be addictive? This is not fully explained by the biological model of behavior, nor is the addiction of the obese for certain comfort foods, or why certain psychological trigger situations provoke a binge, even after successful weight loss. Biology may be helpful in showing an anorexic how food obsessions and depression are provoked by…

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