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Beliefs About Causes of Obesity May Impact Weight, Eating Behavior - Association for Psychological Science


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Wow.

“There was a clear demarcation,” says McFerran. “Some people overwhelmingly implicated poor diet, and a roughly equal number implicated lack of exercise. Genetics, to our surprise, was a far distant third.”

McFerran and Mukhopadhyay wanted to dig deeper to see if the pattern could be replicated and, if so, what implications it might have for behavior. They conducted a series of studies across five countries on three continents.

Data from participants in Korea, the United States, and France showed the same overall pattern: Not only did people tend to implicate diet or exercise as the leading cause of obesity, people who implicated diet as the primary cause of obesity actually had lower BMIs than those who implicated lack of exercise.

“What surprised me the most was the fact that we found lay theories to have an effect on BMI over and above other known factors, such as socio-economic status, age, education, various medical conditions, and sleep habits,” says McFerran.

The researchers hypothesized that the link between people’s beliefs and their BMI might have to do with how much they eat.

A study with Canadian participants revealed that participants who linked obesity to lack of exercise ate significantly more chocolates than those who linked obesity to diet. And a study with participants in Hong Kong showed that participants who were primed to think about the importance of exercise ate more chocolate than those primed to contemplate diet.

These findings provide evidence that our everyday beliefs about obesity may actually influence our eating habits — and our body mass.

Bupropion sounds quite interesting. I wonder why I had never heard of it.

You did. I can't wait to see how it fares in trials! More about Buproprion:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bupropion

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