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Social and psychological reasons for obesity


The complete reason behind obesity is a complicated interaction between social, psychological and physiological elements. Here is a survay of the most important social and psychological components causing over-weight.



Even though the direct causes of over-weight are physical, the society is in great extend guily in exposing people for these physical causes, or for forsing people into an unhealthy lifestyle that make them expose themeselves for the physical causes of over-weight.

We are often told that propaganda through mass media establishes the super-thin anorectic indiviudual as a standard, and induces a discrimination against persons having an averidge weight.

It is thrue that this type of propaganda exists. However, it is however not true that the averidge culture of the western societies holds the anorectic body type as an ideal, and discriminate people not being downright anorectic. It is true that a few people succumb to the effect of this propaganda, but far more people succomb to the quite opposite type of propaganda and culture, and develop an over-weight to please the society.

In many societies or in some social classes or families over-weight is unfortunately regarded as the normal state for a human being, and a person not being obese is erronously regarded as unnormal or unhealthy. At the same time people with a healthy weight are erronously regarded as under-weight and even anorectic.

In such societies children are systematically given food with a too high amount of fat and sugar, and the unfortunate norm is also reinforced during the socialization of each child by constant verbal repetiton.

In these societies unhealthy eating habits are installed into every person through the standard education and socialization from early childhood and they are also constantly reinforsed by an endless stream of commercials through all mass media.

Even healthy personal tend to share the unhealthy standards, they are ofte themselves sickly over-weight and they enforse tha bad standards though the daily interactions with their patients.

Health personal and other actors in these societies will also often even seriously worn healthy weighted persons that thay are too thin and tell them in a serious tone that they have to gain weight and often they even force healthy weighed people to gain weight.

The modern European and American societies unfortunately are among the societies with this type of unhealthy, misunderstood or even fraudolent standards.

In many societies these unhealthy standards are so firmly embedded in every aspect of the culture, that many people not even know what healthy eating habits or healthy foods are. They think that the normal food of the society, loaded with high amounts of sugar and fat is healthy, and need to be specially educated to understand that there are other and more healthy choises than those imposod by the society.

Such unhealthy eating standards are also maintained because someone have an economical gain from them. Society makes people over-weight  by selling food of law nutritional value and containing unhealthy components. Steadily more people base their meals upon ready made food. The producents of this kind of food allways try to give you as little value as possible and prising the products as high as possible. The result is that people actually pay an over-prize for a combination of salthy water, fat of the cheapest kind and carbohydrates of the cheapest kind, and with additives that ease the production process and make the food capable of being stored for a long time.

These standards have a history back to times where they had some logical reason. In former days, the supply of food could be unsecure in many societies. At times there were plenty of food, at other times little. At those time it could be reasonable to gain weight in times of overflood and then live on the fat gained in times of less food suply. Being fat could mean greater chance of survival when the times got worse.

In our time, however, these standards do not have any survival value anymore. On the contrary, one only gets the health drawback of being over-weight, and nothing more by following such standards.

To breake and oppose these standards, one must have the courage to refuse much of the food that the society offers, and substitute more healthy food. This is not done without resistance form a society that gets offended and loose economical proffit by such a conscious choise.



If a child lacks some essetial need in its early infancy, and this lack is never compensated in a real manner, the person as a child and later as a grown up will try to compensate the loss by some false means. Over-eating can be such a false compensation for something lacking in early infanthood.

The missing factors  can be of several kinds, but one factor may be of greatest importance: Many small children miss breastfeeding, and many children do not get enough physical contact skin against skin  with their parents or other people. A reason for this deficiency is he demand for disipline the modern society makes from the parents regarding working hours and regarding other kinds of duty.

Another reason for this lack by children of necessary body contact with other human beings, is a misinterpration that body contact is equal to sexual abuse. In the modern society misunderstanding health autorities and other authorities  systematically frighten adullts from having skin contact with children, and also frighten children from seking bodily contact with adults and other children.

Still another reason for lack of necessary body contact by children is a misunderstanding that body contact is unhygienic, or exaggerated standards of hygiene.

Of course, a mising need in adult life can also cause a person to over-eat. Any missing need that give this effect, for example the lack of a lover.

Obesity because of missing needs have a tendency to reinforce itself . The obesity often makes it more difficult to achieve the thing missed in the first place. Then to confort himself, the obese person over-eats still more, making the obesity steadily more severe.



Sexual abuse is nowadays invoked as a standard explanation for all kinds of problems in the western societies, including obesity. In most cases this explanation is probably false. Still, in some cases it may be right.

The psychological dynamics in those cases where this explanation holds, may be the following: The child recognizes that the attractiveness of its own body is the source fo the abuse. Then the child decides to make itself unattrctive by means of over-eating to prevent further abuse. This pattern will then persist into adulthood, often whithout being concious  anymore.

Sexual abuse is of course only one kind of abuse a child or adult person can be subjected to. Many people live in a situation of constant violence, or threats of being subjected to violence. In these cases a person may over-eat to confort himself, or he may over-eat to get a physical shield of fat as a protection against the violence. The pattern of over-eating caused by such a situation can persist also when the threatful situation has passed, either because of pure habit, or because the fear of violence still persists.



No society is totally safe, and every human being feel a need for more safty in its daily life. Over-eating makes the body greater, and the fat has the ability to work as a kind of shield against physical threats. Some people will therefore be tempted to over-eat to get a shield of fat against physical dangers. To a certain degree this thought is right. A thick layer of fat polstering the body will to some extend work as a physical shield.  However, this logic is not complete. The health dangers form the excessive fat are greater than the protection it gives.

In the earliest times of the human species, the supply of food was unsecure. Therefore every human being had a natural instinct to eat as much as possible and get fat when food was present. When the times then got leaner, he could use the accumulated fat as an energy source, and doing so get slim again. Even though the supply of food usually is abundant and constant in a modern western societies, this instincive measure against starvation is still present in a modern mans psychological workup. The result is a constant temptation to over-eat because of the fear of starvation.



In the latest years the medical community and the educational system also have contributed heavily to propagate and reinforce habits leading to obesity. 

The people in the western societies has in the last decades gain in average weight, and this gain result mostly from individuals being steadily more fat, such that the avrage man and women in our societies frankly speaking are obese to some extend. The fact that most beople are over-weight mislead people to believe that such a state also is good and healthy and that people that are not over-weight are unhealthy. Also authorities are mislead to believe so. Mislead health authorities then have a tendency to encourage people to gain an unhealthy weight, and to disencourage over-weight people from making an efford to get rid of their over-weight.

Anorexia has for some years been of an exaggerated interest of the authorities. A Healthy body shape and healthy eating habits have for a long time erronously been interpreted as symptoms of anorexia by authorities in the western socieries, and the same authorities have consequently reinforced unhealthy habits as a preventive meaure against anorexia.

The health care system also generally ignores bad eating habits and often propagate such habits as an ideal. The result of this is that most persons do not even know what is healthy food and what is not.

People having a healthy body shape and observing healthy diet habits have also since long been sytematically attacked by authorities of many kinds and accused for misleading the youth into an usnsound body awareness and into habits leading to anorexia.

But stop, will many say, are there not many health care workers spreading good information through the mass media. Well this is right, but the health care workers people meet in their dayly life, behave in quite the opposite way.

The result is that most young persons allready are over-weighted, and when they have reach a mature age, they are even more over-weighted.

Sometimes, however, children became catastrophically over-weight, so that their lives are emmergently thretened, and much more over-weighted than the health care personal caring for them. Then the health care system reacts and blames the parents for this situation created by the society, calling them child abuser and the like.


Many of the authority persons leading such attacks are themselves tragically obese, and the underlaying psychological drive for their campain against an healthy lifestyle is surely a envy of persons having succeeded in keeping themselves in good shape.

Bad social standards, often reinforced by misunderstanding health authorities, are the direct cause of many peoples obesity.

By knut Holt

Products to help for excessive weight and other health improvement products

Help to reduce weight and get a slim body

Monitors to measure the percentage of fat in your body By using a body fat monitor you can follow from day to day your fat percentage and see if your slimming efforts are successful or not. Here is presented such a monitor that uses the electric resistance in your body to measure your fat content, water content and weight. Through this link you can also find many more body measure products.

Omron Fat Loss Monitor with Scale

Omron Fat Loss Monitor with Scale

Omron's Fat Loss Monitor with Scale (Model HBF-400) helps users monitor their overall weight while determining body-fat percentage, a true indicator of healthy weight loss--the loss of fat, not muscle and body mass index (BMI). The HBF-400 is a fast and accurate tool that provides critical health indicators.Product Features:* Easy to read large digital display. * Weight, body fat % and BMI in seconds. * 4 personal profiles with previous measurements results. * One scale for the whole family. * Weight capacity up To 330 lbs.Omron's Weight Management products help you monitor progress in achieving a healthier, more active lifestyle. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve overall health, lose weight or get more energy in your daily life, physical activity is essential to staying healthy.

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Features of the Omron Athlete Body Fat Analyzer: Measurement of body fat composition is the key to long-term exercise success. The Omron hand held body fat analyzer is an affordable and easy way to measure body fat in the privacy of your own home. After inputting the data, a measurement can be started by simply holding the grip electrodes and pressing the START button. Athlete mode for accurate results with athletes. Additional body mass index reading provides added tracking ability. Save time with 9 personal profile memory. Provides accurate and quick results in 7 seconds.

Teas to help you clean out toxins and get slimmer - Excessive weight is partly due to toxins deposited in your body. The toxins not only make it difficult to get rid of fat, but also makes you heavier and engorged by retension of water and by an overfilled digestive system. These herbal teas adress this problem.

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APPETITE CONTROLE formulas - For some people the main obstacle to succeed in slimming is a too big appetite. These herbal products may then help.

Botanic Choice Super Herb Diet MAX-Advantage 60 capsules

Botanic Choice Super Herb Diet MAX-Advantage 60 capsules

Super Herb Diet Max Advantage by Botanic Choice with Relora can help you reach your weight loss goals by helping you control your appetite.

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Botanic Choice Acai Slim Complex 90 capsules

Botanic Choice Acai Slim Complex 90 capsules

Acai Slim Complex by Botanic Choice helps curb cravings and boost energy for weight loss support.

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Products to help for problems often occuring together with excessive weight

HELP FOR HYPOTHYROIDISM / sluggish thyroid - a condition that often leads to excessive weight - Unwanted weight gain is an important symptom of sluggish thryroid function. Some or more of these symptoms can occur: Fatigue, obesity, coldness in hands/feet/ears, low blood pressure, yellow hand color, dry skin and hair, poor memory, depressive feelings, unnormal appetite for sugar, decreased blood circulation, itching or rashes, constipation, low metabolic rate. This natural drug stimulates the function of the thoroid gland and furnishes materials that the gland uses to make the thyroid hormons.

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EDEMA - Pycnogenol - Pycnogenol is a anti-oxydative extract from the French marine pine tree bark that has shown good effect against edema, inflammatory processes and degenerative changes.

Solgar Pycnogenol 30mg 60Caps

Solgar Pycnogenol 30mg 60Caps

Product Information:Supplement FactsServing Size 1Servings Per Container 60 Veggie Caps Amount PerServing % DailyValue PYCNOGENOL EXTRACT 30 Mg N/A** Daily value not establishedDirections: As a dietary supplement for adults, one (1) to two (2) Vegetable capsules daily, preferably at mealtimes, or as directed by a healthcare practitioner.Other Ingredients: Microcrystalline cellulose, vegetable cellulose, vegetable stearic acid, vegetable magnesium stearate, water.Does Not Contain: Sugar, salt, starch, corn, yeast, wheat, soy, dairy products, preservatives, artificial flavors or colors.Warnings: If you are pregnant, nursing, taking any medication or have a medical condition, please consult your healthcare practitioner before taking any dietary supplement. Do not use if outer bottle seal is missing, torn or damaged in any way. To assure freshness and potency, store at room temperature 15-30 C (59-86 F). Store away from heat, light and moisture. Keep out of reach of children. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Bitter melon extract to normalize blood sugar levels: - Many persons haing a weight problem also have the problem of too high blood sugar levels or diabetes. Bitter melon extract may help to normalize the blood sugar levels. This effect may also help against the weight problem.

Solaray's Bitter Melon Extract 500mg 30Caps

Solaray's Bitter Melon Extract 500mg 30Caps

Solaray's Bitter Melon Extract 500mg 30CapsDescription: Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia,) also known as bitter gourd, karela or balsam pear, may be as effective as insulin, in some cases. It stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas and blocks the formation of glucose in the bloodstream. It also provides pain relief from neurological complications and delays the onset of cataracts or Retinopathy.Nutrition InformationServing Size 1 Servings Per Container 30 Capsules Amount Per Serving % = DV BITTER MELON 500 MgBitter Melon Extract Other Ingredients Gelatin (capsule) and cellulose.Bitter Melon Extract Suggested Use by Solarays:As a dietary supplement, take one capsule two times daily with meals or a glass of water.Related Tags: Bitter Melon Extract, Solarays, Caps

Diabetes mellitus type 2 - or problems with high blood sugar levels - This product is not curative for diabetes type 2, but it enhances the ability to adjust the blood sugar levels towards a normal valuie.

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Remedy to help you keep the right blood pressure level - These tablets are formulated to benefit the cardiovascular endothelial, to strengthen the heart function, to ease blood flow, to defense the cirulatory system against antioxidants and thereby help to maintain a normal blood pressure.

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COLON CLEANSE and total digestive system rehabilitation - This is a 10 day cure to cleaning out all deposited waste, toxins and parasites from your colon and the rest of your digestive system.

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Some other health products

General medical store - Sometimes weight problems creates needs for special nursing equipment and daily life support. In this shop you will all kinds of equipment for nursing and to make the daily life easier for people suffering from physical impairments.

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Verseo - products for bodily comfort, relaxation, slimming cellulite reduction and more - In this store you find many smart products for rejuvenation, regeneration, detoxification of the skin, digestive system, muscles, joints and hair. You also find spa and massage products for pleasurtable and relaxing body treatment.

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To find more innovative medicines

More cosmetic products

Natural products to prevent disease

Products to improve sexual life

The culture and history of obesity

(This information is mostly fetched form, and is as such free for reuse)

Etymology of the words "obesity and obese"

Obesity is the nominal form of obese which comes from the Latin obēsus, which means "stout, fat, or plump." Ēsus is the past participle of edere (to eat), with ob added to it. In Classical Latin, this verb is seen only in past participial form. Its first attested usage in English was in 1651, in Noah Biggs's Matæotechnia Medicinæ Praxeos.

Obesity in history

In the early prehistory when the human beings were hunterers, the lean, dynamic  and muscularly profiled type of human shape seemed to have been the predominant ideal, both for men and women. Early paintings and other art from this period clearly point to this. And example of this, is the art from the Kreatean cultures and from the early Greek cultural periods.

When however, the societies began nourishing themselves from agriculture, and a complicated social hierarchy with rich and poor people developed, the general nutritional situation worsened. The poor got undernourished, the rich got obese and overnourished.

From this situation, obesity gradually developed as a perverted status symbol in European culture. The physical status of the unhealthy obese rich people come to be seen as something attractive to aim at for the equally unhealthy, undernourished poor people.  This situation did not develop equally early in all societies. Many societies managed to keep the original healthy attitude towards the human body for a long time.

From this time on, in several human cultures, obesity come to be associated with physical attractiveness, strength, and fertility. Some of the earliest records of this new ideal are Venus figurines, pocket-sized statuettes representing an obese female figure. Although their cultural significance is unrecorded, their widespread use throughout the earliest times of the complicated stratified Mediterranean and European cultures suggests that the obese female now had got a central role in culture and ritualism. This role was perhaps coupled with the observation that unhealthy obese females after all were more able to bear children than unhealthy undernourished females.

Obesity was considered a symbol of wealth and social status also in other in cultures prone to food shortages or famine. Well into the early modern period in European cultures, it often served this role. But as food security was realized, it came to serve more as a visible signifier of "lust for life", appetite, and immersion in the realm of the erotic.

This was especially the case in the visual arts, such as the paintings of Rubens (1577–1640), whose regular depiction of fat women gives us the description Rubenesque. Obesity can also be seen as a symbol within a system of prestige. "The kind of food, the quantity, and the manner in which it is served are among the important criteria of social class. In most tribal societies, even those with a highly stratified social system, everyone - royalty and the commoners - ate the same kind of food, and if there was famine everyone was hungry. With the ever increasing diversity of foods, food has become not only a matter of social status, but also a mark of one's personality and taste."

Contemporary culture and attitued towards obesity

In modern Western culture, the obese body shape is widely regarded as unattractive. Many negative stereotypes are commonly associated with obese people, such as the belief that they are lazy, stupid, or even evil, gluttony being the second of the seven deadly sins. Obese children, teenagers and adults face a heavy social stigma. Obese children are frequently the targets of bullies and are often shunned by their peers. Obesity in adulthood can lead to a slower rate of career advancement. Most obese people have experienced negative thoughts about their body image, and many take drastic steps to try to change their shape, including dieting, the use of diet pills, and even surgery.

Not all contemporary cultures disapprove of obesity. There are many cultures which are traditionally more approving (to varying degrees) of obesity, including some African, Arabic, Indian, and Pacific Island cultures. Especially in recent decades, obesity has come to be seen more as a medical condition in modern Western culture even being referred to as an epidemic.

Recently emerging is a small but vocal fat acceptance movement that seeks to challenge weight-based discrimination. Obesity acceptance and advocacy groups have initiated litigation to defend the rights of obese people and to prevent their social exclusion. Some notable figures within this movement, such as Paul Campos, argue that the social stigma surrounding obesity is founded in cultural anxiety, and that public concern over health risks associated with obesity are inappropriately used as a rationalization for this stigma.

Obesity in popular culture and enertainment

Obesity is often humorized in cartoons.Various stereotypes of obese people have found their way into expressions of popular culture. A common stereotype is the obese character who has a warm and dependable personality, but equally common is the obese vicious bully (such as Dudley Dursley from the Harry Potter book series, Eric Cartman from South Park, Nelson Muntz from The Simpsons). Gluttony and obesity are commonly depicted together in works of fiction. In cartoons, obesity is often used to comedic effect, with fat cartoon characters (such as Piggy, Porky Pig, Tummi Gummi, and Podgy Pig )having to squeeze through narrow spaces, frequently getting stuck or even exploding.

A more unusual example of obesity-related humour is Bustopher Jones, the fat cat, from the musical Cats, whose claim to fame is that he is a regular visitor to many gentlemen's clubs including Drones, Blimp's and the Tomb. Due to his constant lunching at these clubs, he is remarkably fat, "a twenty-five pounder... And he's putting on weight everyday." Another popular character, Garfield, a cartoon cat, is also obese for humor. When his owner, Jon, puts him on diets, rather than losing weight, Garfield slows down his weight gain.

It can be argued that depiction in popular culture adds to and maintains commonly perceived stereotypes, in turn harming the self esteem of obese people. A charge of discrimination on the basis of appearance could be leveled against these depictions.[citation needed]

On the other hand, obesity is often associated with positive characteristics such as good humor (the stereotype of the jolly fat man like Santa Claus), and some people are more sexually attracted to obese people than to slender people (see chubby culture, fat admirer).