Obesity - a growing concern

2017-11-01 06:01
Psychologist Thokozani Sithole.PHOTO: supplied

Psychologist Thokozani Sithole.PHOTO: supplied

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MANY people tend to eat more when going through a rough patch or if they are depressed, which can lead to obesity without them even realising it.

Maritzburg Fever spoke to psychologist Thokozani Sithole, from Pietermaritzburg CBD, who said obesity can be linked to various things.

“Sometimes obesity goes hand in hand with depression because people eat a lot to make themselves feel better. Obesity can also be linked to genes. When people start eating because they want to feel better, it becomes an eating disorder.

“Most people use food to comfort themselves. Once you have started doing this it becomes a behaviour and difficult to stop,” he said.

Sithole said it is important to see a professional once they realise they have an eating problem before they become obese.

“As long as you have the right support system, it is possible to beat the habit. Having a support system is very important. You also need to change the way you think about food comforting you.”

Northdale dietician, Chanel Archary, said people who eat to feel better do so unconsciously.

She said people tend to go for food that has many calories - junk food - and no nutrients which the body requires.

“After they have eaten they feel happy, but this is only temporary. Everyone is entitled to eat ‘nice’ food, but it must be in moderation because a poor diet leads to disease, like diabetes, especially if they don’t exercise.

“If you feel you have to eat something nice because you are sad, take a walk, drink water and give yourself time. Go to gym, you will feel better.” Archary said obese people must also avoid using “cheap options” to lose weight.

“Once you see you have gained a lot of weight and you want to lose it, eat healthy and exercise. It will not happen over night but it will happen.Don’t go for a short cut. People react differently to medicine.”


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