The most recent surveys (conducted by phone!) reveal that about 65% of adult Americans are overweight, 30% are obese. It is projected that by the year 2015, 75% of Americans will be overweight and 41% will be obese. You and your kids are at risk.
Some of us overeat when we are emotionally stressed. Take this survey to determine to what extent you eat to manage your feelings and emotions:
Assign points: 1- never, 2=rarely, 3=occasionally, 4=often, 5=always
- When you get mad at someone, including yourself, do you get the urge to eat?
- Do you reach for a snack or head for the refrigerator when you feel annoyed?
- If someone or something disappoints you, do you feel like eating?
- When you're ticked off all day, do you eat more than usual?
- Do you gravitate toward food when you're bored?
- Do you comfort feelings of loneliness by eating?
- If you feel restless, is food the first thing you think of to calm yourself?
- Is food your friend when you feel empty inside or unloved?
- Do you ease feelings of stress by munching?
- Does eating help soothe you when life seems overwhelming?
- Are big changes in life followed by weight gain?
- Does worry cause you to eat more than usual?
- Do you ever say to yourself, "I feel fat anyway, I may as well eat"?
- Do you ever eat to punish yourself?
- Do you ever eat to reward yourself?
- Does a general feeling of agitation cause you to snack?
- When you're feeling moody, do you feel like eating?
- Do you crave extra food when you have "the blues"?
- When you're anxious and you don't know why, do you eat to take the edge off?
- Do you eat more when you feel excited?
- Do you overeat when you celebrate?
Interpretation: a score = to or > 77 suggests that you regularly eat to manage feelings and emotions. If some groups of questions seem to have higher scores than others, it may indicate that one or more specific emotional sates push you to eat:
- If answers to questions 1-4 are mostly 4s or 5s, you probably eat to stuff down anger
- If answers to questions 5-8 are mostly 4s or 5s, you tend to reach for food when you are bored or feel lonely
- If answers to questions 9-12 are mostly 4s or 5s, stressful events or times in your life promote overeating
- If answers to questions 13-15 are mostly 4s or 5s, your body-image and self-esteem need a boost
- If answers to questions 16-19 are mostly 4s or 5s, your day-to-day moods urge you to munch
Here's a link to an article for adults (Web MD) on emotional eating. Read the article if you find from the above survey that you do, indeed, practice emotional eating on a regular basis. There are activities/strategies for turning around emotional eating included.
Here's a link to an article for teens about emotional eating. If your teen seems to practice this, read the article and share it with your teen. There are strategies for overcoming emotional eating included.