Fitness professionals expend considerable energy helping people to lose weight, but there’s another way to view this challenge: What are the main factors that cause people to gain weight?
Research shows that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese (Ogden et al. 2014), a health condition associated with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and various cancers (breast, endometrial, colon and prostate) (Malik, Schultz
At any given time, over 100 million Americans are on a diet (MarketResearch .com 2014). That’s about a third of the U.S. population. Despite the hundreds of best- seller diet books and the $60-plus billion Americans spend trying to lose weight each year (Marketdata Enterprises 2014), permanent weight loss remains elusive for most. Even so, dozens of diets remain on the market, each with ardent followers and outspoken opponents.
The Internet offers plenty of opportunity to share helpful, positive content. However, it’s also a hotbed of negativity, especially when it comes to discussions on weight.
A study facilitated by researchers at the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, Maryland, wanted to understand the types of conversations that are taking place on this subject. Using a commercial Web-crawling tool, the investigators explored popular social media sites and pulled posts that included fat, obese/obesity and/or overweight. The process lasted 60 days and culminated in 1.37 million posts.
Which is more likely to send you head first into a big bowl of mac and cheese or your favorite dessert (or both?): a really good day or a really bad day?
Contrary to the idea that negative emotions drive people to overeat or to indulge their cravings, a recent three- part study that appeared in Appetite (2013; 68, 1–7) has shown, surprisingly, that positive emotions can influence eating indulgences as much as—or more than—negative emotions.