Homeostatic theory of obesity

Published on Jan 21, 2015in Health psychology open
· DOI :10.1177/2055102915590692
David F. Marks32
Estimated H-index: 32
Health is regulated by homeostasis, a property of all living things. Homeostasis maintains equilibrium at set-points using feedback loops for optimum functioning of the organism. Imbalances in homeostasis causing overweight and obesity are evident in more than 1 billion people. In a new theory, homeostatic obesity imbalance is attributed to a hypothesized ‘Circle of Discontent’, a system of feedback loops linking weight gain, body dissatisfaction, negative affect and over-consumption. The Circle of Discontent theory is consistent with an extensive evidence base. A four-armed strategy to halt the obesity epidemic consists of (1) putting a stop to victim-blaming, stigma and discrimination; (2) devalorizing the thin-ideal; (3) reducing consumption of energy-dense, low-nutrient foods and drinks; and (4) improving access to plant-based diets. If fully implemented, interventions designed to restore homeostasis have the potential to halt the obesity epidemic.
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