Why Do People Overeat? Several Experts Analyze

1. Self-Defender

I like to eat.

2. Biologist

I am endomorphic. Hence I am extroverted and like to be surrounded by people, comfort, food. People who condemn over-eaters are ectomorphic, skinny nervous types, who can neither digest nor enjoy food as I can.

3. Sociologist

In some cultures, fat is considered beautiful and desirable. If I fit that pattern better than the dominant more of thin beauty in my culture, then I should simply accept my misplaced role

4. Chemist

My thyroid gland is lax, my metabolism too slow to burn up actually normal rations of food.

5. Materialistic-Physicist

Certain times and places are themselves causes. Having food handy causes eating. Midnight causes eating. The whole is a mechanical chain reaction, in which the original stimulus is relatively unimportant. A diet is solely a question of habit and inertia.

6. Lay Psychologist

I overeat when other outlets for strong emotion are thwarted. I eat to punish myself. I eat to stop time, to avoid responsibility. I eat when I am unhappy. I eat when I am lonely. I eat when I am unloved.

6a. Freudian Psychologist

I am orally oriented. In childhood I overdeveloped my identification of food with love.

6b. Eriksonian Psychologist

Overeating and fat are my negative identy. I can only find myself by first plunging into the abyss.

7. Jewish Anthropologist

My family has always been big eaters. They make rich foods, spend all their time at the table, think fat is a sign of well being. I have always been told to finish everything, so as not to waste it, because some people don't have any.

8. American Anthropologist

In this consumer-oriented, overproductive country, slick magazines, huge stores and singing commercials are a never-ending encouragement to stuff oneself. Hence the majority of Americans are overweight.

9. Marxist-Historian

I overeat because I am a member of a dying and too-affluent class, which has nothing to do but kill itself with luxury.

10. Paradoxician

I overeat only since I have be- come interested in dieting; I think and talk about it too much; I can't do it "naturally" the way one is supposed to. If I stopped worrying about it everything would be fine.

11. Hedonist

Everyone has his vices so why not enjoy them?

12. Traditional Christian or Platonist

I am a glutton, a sinner, and will go to hell. Overcoming the evil temptation is my problem, my task, and my greatest test.

13. Everyman

None of your business.