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Overweight People
People learn to eat as they are growing up.  Food choices are often left to the cook in the family, and children learn to like what is served to them.  Family social events often are centered around meals.  Most families have favorite dishes cooked by certain members of the family that everyone looks forward to eating on holidays or at family get-togethers.  Special foods trigger special memories.  Children are often taught to “clean their plates,” because the cook might be insulted if what he cooked is not finished. Meals are served at certain times and children are encouraged to eat whether they are hungry or not.  Food is often used as a reward for doing chores, making good grades, or excelling at sports or music.  This kind of cultural eating habits contribute to the large number of overweight people in our society. 

Food which used to be accessible only to the wealthy or reserved for special occasions for those of more moderate means is now readily available.  Gout and other diseases in overweight people used to be seen only in the upper classes. 

Some overweight people see food as a comfort or a solace.  Overweight people with emotional and psychological problems sometimes turn to food.  Some people eat when they are sad, bored, or angry.  If a friend is down, we take them out to a meal to cheer them up.  In some parts of our culture, grieving families are given food as tokens of sympathy.  To some overweight people, food is their best or only friend.

Often the solution for overweight people is an approach to weight loss which includes modifications in lifestyle, behavior and emotional factors.  Sometimes a program which includes medication, nutritional supplements, behavior therapy, psychotherapy, or stress reduction is essential to weight loss success.  Weight management reflects many aspects of a person’s self.  

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