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Lecture 5

PSY 202 Lecture 5: Diss5

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PSY 202
Jordan Pennefather

 Behaviors and Health  What are behaviors Affect Mental Health and Physical Health? o Obesity o Smoking o Exercise o Before the 20 century, most people died from infections and from diseases transmitted person to person o Today, all the leading causes of death are at least partially outcomes of lifestyle  Obesity o There is no formal definition of obesity  Two common measures are being 20% over ideal body weight or having a body mass index (BMI) over a specified number o BMI = (Weight in pounds)/ (Height in inches) o Why increase in obesity?  Easy access to unhealthier food  Genetic influence  Obesity tends to run in families with heritability estimates between 60 and 80 percent  Identical twins raised apart do not significantly differ in weight from identical twins raised together  Genetics appears to determine a person’s sensitivity to becoming obese  Epigenetics  Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than alterations in DNA  Findings show that obesity in a mother can result in a fetal over- nutrition can result in changes in gene expression leading to increased sensitivity to obesity  Stigma of obesity o Discriminating against those who are obese is one of the last acceptable forms of discrimination o Being obese has been correlated with low self-esteem and many medical problems o Industrialized countries are more likely to stigmatize obesity  Exemplified by media images of extremely thin, perhaps anorexic, models  In the United States the standard represented models is 7 inches taller and 55 pounds lighter than the average woman.  Cultural Variability – Body Weight o In 1951, anthropologists concluded that heavier women were universally found to be more attractive  E.g. In Western Africa, the term “fat” is often viewed as complimentary, indicating strength and beauty  Restrictive Dieting Does Not Work o Diets fail primarily because of the body’s natural defense against weight loss o After the body has been deprived of food, it needs less food to maintain a given body weight o Repeated alterations between food deprivation and overfeeding have been shown to have cumulative metabolic effects.  Restrained Eating o Restrained eaters: prone to dieting and then to excessive eating in certain situations  Disordered Eating o Anorexia nervosa  Characterized by an excessive fear of becoming fat and thus a refusal to eat o Bulimia nervosa  Characterized by dieting, binge eating, and purging o Binge-eating disorder
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