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Chapter 7

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PSYC 3110
Carol Anne Hendry

CHAPTER 7 – FOOD, EATING, AND THE ENVIRONMENT (pgs. 142-156; 161-164) - Eating and drinking isn’t just to satisfy hunger and thirst, they are also social activities that are rich in symbolic, moral, and cultural meanings - Rapid increase of obesity – obesity is the fastest growing cause of disease and death in America - Obesity has multiple causes that include genetic predisposition, culture, diet and inactivity - People can now eat and drink fast-food items out of their own homes - We live in a toxic environment where physical activity is discouraged while consuming large portions of high-fat and high-sugar foods is encouraged - Study found that only 38% of meals eaten were homemade and many people have never cooked a meal themselves using raw ingredients - Physical activity, low income, and stress are all factors related to obesity/eating o Higher stress associated with more fatty food intake - Biological influences on body fat levels include age, sex, hormonal factors and genetics AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE - Used to live as hunter-gatherers - The toxic ecology of urban lifestyles is generating ill-health and disease on a massive scale - Hunter-gatherers had much more energy expenditure than we do today (when hunting for food or moving places on feet) - Protein, mineral, and vitamin intake among hunter-gatherers would have been generally above “recommended levels” THE AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION - Humans, for the first time, lived in densely populated villages and towns - People now had ownership of land/property - Food supplies more dependent on local weather conditions and hazards - Diet became less varied and balanced - Average levels of activity + energy expenditure decreased AN ECOLOGICAL MODEL - Adiposity: the fat content of the body / fattiness = the fat content of foods - The principal systems involved in children’s eating habits are o The individual child’s genetic environment o The family environment o The larger community in which the child lives - European survey showed that 55% of people wanted an underweight body - Two different kinds of cholesterol (bad cholesterol – LDL – low density lipoprotein, and good cholesterol – HDL – high density lipoprotein) o High levels of LDL positively associated with cardiovascular disease o High levels of HDL negatively associated with cardiovascular disease - Hypercholesterolemia – high levels of bad cholesterol in the blood - The excess weight of obese people is due mainly to adipose tissue mass of which 85% is fat - In attributing responsibility of obesity to individuals, one must take into account biological, social, ecological, and psychological barriers - The ecological approach to obesity sees obesity in the context of the individual’s relationship to the surrounding environment (it attributes obesity as much to the environment as to the obese individuals themselves) - Egger and Swinburn proposed three main influences on equilibrium levels of body fat: biological, behavioural, and environmental - Obesity is not seen as a disorder of individuals requiring treatment, but an expected consequence of living in an environment that is designed to produce obesity - The solution to the increasing prevalence of obesity lies with the structural characteristics of the environment, not at the level of the individual - T
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