Behavioral Genetics in Obesity Print
Written by Dr. Kousik Das Mahapatra   

Often, "genetic" causes of obesity are contrasted with those seen as "behavioral," implying that only factors such as metabolic rate or propensity to gain weight as fat are under genetic control. Behavioral genetics refers to the contribution of genetic variability to relevant behaviors (eating and physical activity). Behavioral factors such as dietary preference for fats, choice of interval between meals, degree of caloric compensation in response to food restriction, or even inclination to engage in physical activity can have strong genetic components. Genetically determined preferences may interact with environmental factors to yield conditioned eating patterns.

Eating Behavior: Overweight people generally consume more calories than people of normal weight, but this does not mean they are overeater, as they are consuming an appropriate amount of calories for their higher body weight assuming weight stability. This distinction is important, as the idea that obese individuals bring about or maintain their obesity by inappropriate overeating underlies many of our culture's negative stereotypes about obesity.
Apart from the amount of food consumed, patterns of food consumption are abnormal in subgroups of obese persons. Binge eating disorder, a psychiatric problem, where the patient takes chips, snacks, cold drink idle mood like during watching TV or gossiping. Compared with non-binge-eaters, obese binge eaters eat significantly more food in laboratory studies when instructed to binge or eat normally, report an earlier onset of obesity and greater percentage of lifetime on a diet, overeating more in response to negative emotional states, report lower levels of self-esteem, and display significantly greater levels of psychopathology, especially depression and personality disorders. Another abnormal eating pattern that exists most commonly in obese individuals has become known as the "Night-eating syndrome". First described in 1955, its key features are morning anorexia, evening hyperphagia and insomnia (sometimes induced). It is commonly found in students appearing in examinations when they got to study during night hours and also in night shift workers. More recent clinical reports have suggested that many of these patients suffer from sleep disorders such as somnambulism, restless legs syndrome, and obstructive sleep apnea and that most patients report some degree of amnesia for the eating episode. In addition, night-eating syndrome is associated with neuroendocrine abnormalities including attenuated nocturnal rise in leptin and melatonin and increased plasma cortisol. So, late night study should be strongly prohibited. Further research is needed to better characterize the clinical features and treatment responses of these individuals.
Psychotherapy: Both cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy have been found to be effective in normalizing eating and reducing distress in obese patients with binge eating disorder, although neither intervention is associated with significant weight loss. Psychotherapy is helpful in enhancing self-acceptance in obese patients who have learned to feel ashamed about their weight and may help patients to cope with the effects of prejudice and "weightism" that are pervasive in our culture. Often, greater self-acceptance and the resulting increase in overall self-esteem are key steps in developing motivation for working toward a healthier lifestyle and/or for undertaking weight control treatment. Body image therapy programs have been developed to help obese individuals alter the way they perceive and evaluate their bodies. These interventions are crucial for many obese patients, because most such patients, even after successful weight loss treatment, remain at a higher-than-normal weight.

Integrated Treatment: Behavioral treatment to improve diet and increase physical activity is the cornerstone of any weight loss treatment programme regardless of the degree of obesity. Effective treatment may be provided in various settings. Although hospital-based programmes often provide the most comprehensive care. It is better use medicines for psychological sophistication like Manikya bhasma or Yograj Guggula with honey. In meals cucumber, lassi is prescribed.
Strategies for evaluation and treatment of psychiatrically ill obese patients
Initial Evaluation: Because some studies of clinical groups of obese patients report unexpectedly high rates of depressive and anxiety disorders, the clinician should be particularly careful to screen for these disorders, even if they are not suggested by the initial complaint. Obese individuals, even those who are seen for treatment of a condition unrelated to their weight, are at increased risk of suffering from binge eating disorder. Therefore, it is important to inquire about problematic eating patterns which are as following:
Patient caught in a cycle of "crash dieting" followed by weight regain and further demoralization?
Patient is exercising, is the need to exercise interfering in any way with occupational or interpersonal functioning? It is crucial to assess the patient's attitudes toward his or her weight and shape.
Patient's obesity is a source of shame, and does the patient avoid particular activities (e.g., parties, shopping for clothes)?
Patient experienced discrimination in social or occupational settings?
Finally, it is important to ascertain whether the patient is receiving adequate medical care. Obese patients may avoid doctors because of fear of being criticized or humiliated about their weight. It is particularly important to inquire about gynecological care; obese women may experience particular anxiety related to gynecological examinations and may therefore avoid routine care.

< Prev   Next >

Ezine Login

You can register to DAV Ayurveda Ezine for absolutely Free..

DAV's Ayurveda for Holistic Health
ISSN 2348-6910 Volume - 1 , Issue: 28 , September 2015

Home arrow Dec 2008 arrow Behavioral Genetics in Obesity

Editorial Board

Chief Patron
Shri Punam Suri
President, DAV College Managing Committee,
New Delhi.

Dr. Ramesh Arya
Vice President, DAV College Managing Committee,
New Delhi.

Chief Editor
Dr. Raj Kumar Sharma
Asst. Director, Dayanand Ayurvedic College,
Ph: +91-9814204443

Dr. Sanjeev Sood
Principal, Dayanand Ayurvedic College,
Ph. : +91-9814004142

Executive Editor
Dr. Anup K. Gakkhar

Design: Reflex Infosystems