Dangers of Emotional Eating
There a number of unhealthy habits that can develop over time if eating activities aren’t monitored closely. One very easy unhealthy habit to fall into is emotional eating. This can go unnoticed because it’s not widely thought of as dangerous compared to life threatening habits such as illegal drug use, and many say they can simply “exercise more later,” but can eating habits really be a danger to you? We’ll be exploring some of these that in the following article.
You Tend to Eat Unhealthy Food
Emotional eating usually hits very suddenly out of nowhere and seeks out specific cravings to be filled. Often times these powerful cravings are for sugar and fat filled snacks because of the powerful rush that is experienced after consumption. Seeking out comfort food or food that is connected with positive or nostalgic feelings has been common practice for all of recorded history. Many snack foods (especially candy and baked goods) are associated with memories of fun times or loved ones. Some children develop early obesity when they learn this type of self soothing. The methods that are used to produce foods of these types typically contain high levels of salt, sugars, fats and preservative agents.
It is an Unhealthy Way to Cope with Emotions
Emotional eating is often used as a way to avoid dealing with complex emotions. Not every trigger will be the same for each person, but these could include a range of emotions and feelings including anxiety, boredom, loneliness, disgust, sadness, and even joy. The emotional danger is the continued neglect of the real reasons behind these emotions. A feeling of shame or guilt might follow binges. This is especially true when the behavior is hidden from friends or family. If a person uses eating as a way to escape or distract them self emotionally, a vicious cycle can develop. For example, a person who seeks food to cope with stress will create a paradox where weight-related health issues arise, and the chosen coping method is food.
There are Weight-Related Health Risks
Emotional overeating can cause devastating health problems. Beyond the difficulties surrounding obesity, these could include other health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anxiety, malnutrition, digestive problems, menstrual problems, and depression.
If you are overeating and appear to be experiencing any of these symptoms or health problems, emotional eating is likely to be a significant factor. Most frightening of all, some of these diseases have dangerous side effects that could interfere with medical responder’s efforts to carry out life saving procedures. Heart disease and diabetes can also weaken the organs and immune system, leaving you susceptible to infectious disease as well.
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