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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #030 -- Bad Habits May Be the Cause of Your Weight Gain
April 19, 2008

(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)

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Week of April 20, 2008

Table of Contents

* Not-So Obvious Causes Of Overeating *

Not-So Obvious Causes Of Overeating

There are obvious and not so obvious causes to today's global obesity epidemic. Obvious causes are overeating, sedentary lifestyle, and high sugar/high fat food content. What is not so obvious are psychological triggers, emotional state, and bad habits.

I want to focus on bad habits in regards to overeating in this article. According to neuropsychologist Nanette Stroebele, Ph.D., of the University of Colorado's Center for Human Nutrition in Denver, "adults eat and drink more when there's background noise." Studies from Northern Ireland and Canada found that the louder and faster the music, the more food a person consumes in a given amount of time.

Dr. Stroebele says that there is a problem with soft, slow music too. It tends to lead a person to linger at the dinner table which leads to--surprise, surprise--overeating. Experts advise a quiet conversation at the dinner table to combat overeating.

When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s--before our current worldwide obesity crisis--families ate together at the dinner table. There were no outings to restaurants and 'all-you-can-eat' buffet establishments.

Our dinner ritual was every family member had to assemble at the dinner table. All activities had to be set aside and no, let me repeat, no prior commitment could ever upset that schedule. As old-fashioned as it may seem, families back in those days did not eat to the beat of the radio, or in front of a television set.

Studies have found that eating in front of the TV causes a delay in the hormone leptin in signalling the brain that the stomach is full. Not sensing fullness, a person simply overeats.

My parents and others like them followed traditions handed down by their parents. They didn't know that music or television could lead to overeating. Tradition however dictated that dinnertime was family conversation time.

In the battle to combat obesity, no stone can afford to be left unturned. You may unknowingly be sabotaging your weight loss efforts through bad habits. Try turning off the cell phone, TV, and radio when eating. And if at all possible, eat home-cooked meals in a family setting and begin seeing results.

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