In Focus: Eating and Motivation

Table of Content

Eating is very important as it sustains one’s existence. People eat for survival, and this activity is meant to nourish the body, producing the energy needed for daily activities and body processes. Moreover, growth and development are furnished through eating, the nutrients and vitamins from food consumed supplies the body with its needs thereby bringing forth growth and development. Thinking is the foremost activity that humans do where eating is important, enabling them to think clearly and positively (Wansink, 2006). Brand-Miller et. al (2005, p. 98) had written in simple terms that people eat because they are hungry, and stop eating as they are satisfied. The human stomach in particular stretches when it is full of food. Hunger is a specific feeling of emptiness in the stomach. These stomach signals the production of a lasting feeling of fullness, which tends to make us stop eating. As food is taken, hormones are released telling the hypothalamus (i. e. a brain structure) to take charge of eating. In addition, it is this brain structure which tells us which foods is appealing or not depending on one’s preferences.

If damage has been done, this affects one’s emotional state causing an individual to eat more than usual. The brain controls the eating process, releasing chemicals, nutrients and hormones that determine hunger and satiety. Glucose is an important nutrient which affects the eating levels of an individual. Insulin is actually called the “hunger hormone” because it has the capacity to increase the hunger felt by an individual, and as a result, he will eat more than usual without noticing it. Often, people condition themselves to eat whether one is physiologically hungry or not.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

This is not important since the brain has conditioned the individual to eat regardless of his emotions or physiological state (Brain-Miller et. al, 2005, p. 200). In the past, eating serves the purposes of survival and growth and development. Of late, its purpose has evovlved into being merely for satisfaction. Moreover, it is done for social purposes. Eating is a form of bonding among friends and forms part of traditional practices of a group or religious sect. Each particular group has their particular food preferences.

Muslims, for instance, do not have pork as part of their diet. There are also some minority groups in Asia where eating or drinking dairy products is not acceptable on the basis of religious laws. The differences in food preferences stir up disgust which can be a determinant of eating habits (Wansink, 2006, p. 135). In the past, people prefer to eat vegetables and fruits because these were easier to gather and prepare. Today, pork and beef have become their favorites in addition to other ingredients that make it more appealing to the taste.

Moreover, food decorations have become important in eating; usually, eaters prefer colorful food, since these are appealing to the eyes. The appeal of food is not only restricted to color and taste, the smell of the food can also add up to its appeal. The nutritious benefit of food does not bring appeal to eaters; rather they give greater premium to smell, color and taste. Children eat food that are colorful and of good taste, preferring these over vegetables and fruits (Natenshon, 1999). Residents from both rural and urban locations have become very particular with the food that they eat.

Food has become very convenient – just by adding hot water or reheating it in the microwave, a meal may be served. Busy people often prefer these convenient food instead of preparing their own. The taste is similar and importantly, it will not be time consuming in preparation; however, these food are often packed with various preservatives, resulting to more calories and posing health-risks (Wansink, 2006, p. 88). Eating had become a pastime. It is done not only to satisfy hunger but rather for satisfaction. Moreover, people become motivated to eat when they experience negative emotions.

Depression causes an individual to eat more than the usual, to do away with the negative emotion that they are feeling (Wansink, 2006). Emotional eating may be caused by anger, loneliness, stress, anxiety, sadness, or boredom and may affect an individual’s weight loss program. Emotional eating makes people eat too much high-calorie food or salty, fatty, or sweet foods. Overeating may be triggered by negative life events such as health problems, divorce, or unemployment. Stress from work, changes in the routine, the bad weather, or other daily life hassles can make people eat more.

They binge eat and thus gain weight. Often, wrong eating practices are practiced, leading to obesity (Fairburn, 1995). People fancy eating in restaurants with good food. Eating is done to pamper the cravings and for survival purposes. Foods prepared outside the homes, are proven to have high-caloric intake than the usual foods prepared at home. The good taste it offers is coupled with different spices, preservatives and other ingredients adding to more calories. Eating had become a desire and not a necessity for survival. As for children, they prefer to eat processed foods particularly fast food.

These entities claim that the food they serve have nutritional value, yet the calorie count of such food is very high. From an empirical study, it has been found that a child eating at fast food for 2 weeks gained weight uncontrollably (Wansink, 2006, p. 78). Aside from being an emotional eater, obesity is inherited. If parents are obese, this poses a high risk of obesity for their children. The manner of eating may have been inherited making them obese as early as their childhood. Obesity has become a common problem of contemporary times and it is not only brought about by the genes inherited by the child from his parents.

Eating has become a habit and when food cravings are not controlled, they eat whenever they want even if they do not feel hunger. Food contents have become high in calories and sugar causing the person to gain more weight (Fairbrun, 1995). Many children in the United States eat too much fat, saturated fat. Only half of the youth population engages in physical activities. In fact, one in four children in the United States is overweight. Children do away with good diet and physical activities; instead, they prefer to watch television or play online games in their computer and they eat processed food at the same time.

Because of the present lifestyle of these children, inheritance had not been the major affecting obesity – that is, lifestyle is a stronger determinant of this condition (Natenshon, 1999). Obesity has been affecting individuals at an early age. Aside from inheritance as a major reason, the environment aggravates the problem further. In order to outdo the worsening problem, children are encouraged to eat vegetables and fruits rather than eating processed foods and chips. Schools help in implementing gardening as part of their requirement wherein they themselves grow the vegetables and fruits in the school garden.

By doing so, children are encouraged to consume it since they are the ones who grew it. Moreover, decorations are added to make it appealing to the students. Instead of serving it plainly as a vegetable dish, it is presented wherein children can also enjoy both its taste and appeal (Brand-Miller, et. al, 2005). According to Fairburn (1995), schools have been requested to ban the selling of chips and other food that are not nutritious. In banning these food, children will be obliged to eat nutritious food that are sold at their school canteen.

These laws have been implemented to reduce the increasing number of obese children. Schools, being the second home to these children, must give importance to their nutritional intake. Moreover, as healthy eating is promoted at an early age hence it follows that this habit will be carried on as they grow into adulthood. Natenshon (1999) writes that one’s family must also be supportive of their obese child. Parents must ensure that their love and support through out the process of weight reduction is consistent. They must see to it that the child is always encouraged to continue the diet and exercise plan for his own benefit.

Trimming down weight is not only for the sole purpose of looking good but mainly to prevent the health risks brought about by obesity. Also, as weight has been trimmed down, the obese individual will feel good about himself resulting to a stronger sense of esteem making him more motivated to go on with the process. Ultimately, he is able to achieve his ideal body weight and maintain a healthy eating lifestyle. Gaining weight is very easy but to lose weight has been proven to be very difficult. Exercise and diet are the major steps carried out for weight loss.

But even in carrying out these strategies, significant weight changes are rarely observed. Often, losing weight is affected by the individual’s metabolism. The metabolism of the individual is exclusive to the person; there are those with fast metabolism who remain thin or fit even if they eat a lot, and there are those who despite eating little still gain substantial weight. The speed of metabolism is partly inherited. Still, exercise and diet must be done with the hope that with persistence these shall take effect after some time. Moreover, it is important to eat healthy food and refrain from eating oily food and sweets (Fairburn, 1995).

Weight reduction among women is also affected by hormonal imbalance. Though they have been working out hard and subjecting themselves to stringent diets, their weight remains dormant. They are advised to continue the routine that they are doing. The hormones will balance its action inside the body, which will cause the effects of exercise and diet to manifest. Moreover, there are wrong approaches to dieting which have been put forth. Women particularly miss meals as their diet, but as they become hungry, they engage in binge eating making their diet useless. It is important to choose and comply with proper approaches of exercising and dieting in order to see optimal effects (Wansink, 2006).


Brand-Miller, J. , Foster-Powell, K. , and Sandall, P. (2005). The New Glucose Revolution: Low GI Eating Made Easy. USA: Marlowe & Company. Fairburn, C. (1995). Overcoming Binge Eating . USA: Guilford Press. Natenshon, A. (1999). When Your Child Has an Eating Disorder: A Step-By-Step Workbook for Parents and Other Caregivers. USA: Jossey-Bass. Wansink, B. (2006). Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. 1st edition. Bantam.

Cite this page

In Focus: Eating and Motivation. (2017, Mar 05). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront