Factors Which Cause Successful Or Unsuccessful Dieting

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  • Created on: 21-06-12 18:11
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Factors Which Cause Successful Or Unsuccessful Dieting
AO1's AO2's
1 Dieting generally involves restricting food 1 However, dieting can lead to dangerous
intake to reduce weight. Most people eating behaviours such as anorexia and
make rational cognitive decisions explanations for dieting may not be effective
regarding dieting, including exercise. for these behavioural abnormalities.
2 Dieting is very common in western
cultures, particularly in women. The most
oftcited reasons for dieting are health
considerations and body dissatisfaction.
3 The biological explanation suggests that 2 The set point theory is supported by
any diet will ultimately fail due to the set research on rats. When the lateral
point theory. This theory states that the hypothalamus is lesioned, the rats became
body is designed to maintain a balance of aphagic, only eating enough to survive. This
chemicals and any attempt to deny the suggests that there is an underpinning neural
body of these will trigger homeostatic mechanism which prevents radical calorie
processes which will overcome the limitation.
3 However, humans have better cognitive
abilities than rats and therefore results from
studies on rats are not necessarily
applicable to humans.
4 Also, the ethics of irreversibly damaging the
brains of rats is controversial.
5 However set point theory cannot account for
how humans can commit suicide by
starvation. This suggests that humans do
indeed have the willpower to overcome their
homeostatic and survival mechanisms.
6 However case studies are not generalisable
and lack population validity because they
are subject to bias by individual differences.
It is possible only a minority can kill
themselves by starvation.
7 Any biological approach to dieting is
reductionist as there are many factors
involved and suggesting that all eating
behaviour is based on neural mechanisms is
too simplistic.
8 The biological approach is also
deterministic as it suggests that humans do
not have the free will to make flexible
decisions on food intake.
4 An evolutionary explanation also suggests 9 This approach is supported by genetic
that diets will ultimately fail. Restriction of evidence from the LPL gene which codes for
energy intake is linked to famine an enzyme which stores fat. Research
conditions and the body responds by shows that after dieting, people with high
storing as much food as possible as fat. activity of the gene gain weight very quickly.
10 Research into the LPL gene can be applied
to creating drugs which may alter its
effectiveness, making it easier to lose

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Factors Which Cause Successful Or Unsuccessful Dieting
5 A cognitive explanation to dieting is given 11 The boundary model is supported by
by Herman and Polivy in the Boundary preload experiments. Female participants,
Model, which suggests that any attempt to some on diets and some not, were offered
limit food intake will result in overeating. one or two milkshakes. The participants
The model states that restrictive eaters set were then offered ice cream.…read more


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