Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: "There is a cause and effect relationship between emotional hunger and obesity"

DOI : https://doi.org/10.32739/uha.id.48120

Emphasizing that there is a cause and effect relationship between emotional hunger and obesity, Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, "They eat for psychological reasons, not physiological reasons. Since it does not need it, it immediately turns into weight in the body. They eat high-energy things, which often leads to obesity."

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan: "There is a very close relationship between emotional ups and downs and eating behavior. By observing oneself, a person can control his eating behavior. It's very important for him to observe himself."

President of Üsküdar University, Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan evaluated the issue of emotional hunger.

"They eat for psychological reasons, not physiological reasons"

Pointing to the issue of emotional hunger and obesity, Prof. Tarhan said, "There is a cause and effect relationship between emotional hunger and obesity. Although the person's body does not need to eat, the person wants to eat all the time. The food these people eat for positive emotions is different, and the food they eat for negative emotions is different. In such a situation, they eat not for physiological reasons, but for psychological reasons. Since it does not need it, it immediately turns into weight in the body. They eat high-energy things, which often leads to obesity."

1 in 2 people who are depressed is obese!

Pointing out that the relationship between obesity and depression is almost half, Prof. Tarhan said that 55 percent of depressed people have obesity.

Drawing attention to the causality relationship, Prof. Tarhan stated that "There is a causality relationship between depression and obesity. A separate definition was made as emotional hunger. Emotional hunger and dissatisfaction seem to be a global problem brought about by modern life, which emerges as a result of lifestyle changes that cause disease, not as a separate disease. The person eats again, eats again. It loses its sense of satiety.”

When the pregnant woman eats chocolate, the baby's mobility increases

Stating that when chocolate is given to the pregnant woman, the mobility of the baby increases, Tarhan said that "When the mother eats chocolate, chemicals related to happiness are immediately secreted in the brain. That blood rotates in the body in thirty or forty seconds. When the brain drains that serotonin, it immediately passes into the child's blood. The child gets pleasure as if he ate it himself and his mobility increases. Thus, the mother and the child are messaging in a chemical way. Emotional hunger is also like this, that is, a child feels as if they have eaten something even though they have not eaten at that moment."

The brain is constantly producing messages saying 'you are hungry, eat something'

Noting that the brain is programmed with faith in fasting and the feeling of hunger is not experienced until a certain hour, Prof. Tarhan said that "The brain secretes chemicals related to hunger and satiety. It says you will eat in the evening, there is no desire to eat because hunger chemicals are not secreted. The brains of people who are emotionally starved are constantly producing messages such as 'you are hungry, eat something'. They feel hungry. They eat, but the brain gives a false alarm."

"When a person gets angry, they immediately try to eat something."

Regarding how to distinguish emotional hunger from normal hunger, Tarhan made the following remarks:

"One can understand it like this; when they are angry, they immediately try to eat something. When they are angry, when they feel negative, or sometimes when they feel positive, when they feel good, if they direct themselves to eat something immediately, if this eating is more in the form of snacking, then it is emotional eating. There is a very close relationship between emotional ups and downs and eating behavior. By observing oneself, a person can control their eating behavior. It is very important for him to observe themselves here."

"When these people are upset about something, they want to get up and go to the kitchen."

Noting that when a person is depressed about something, they want to get up and go to the kitchen immediately and thinks as "I just ate it, my body does not need to go and eat it again, but my brain uses eating as a relaxation technique," Prof. Tarhan said that "It is also very closely related to cultural learning. A businessman from Gaziantep came to me at the age of 50. He was depressed. He went to an internist, and he said, 'You are not going to eat this or that.' After that, the person becomes depressed. He said, 'I have worked all these years, I thought that I would eat comfortably like this, but now if I am not going to eat what I want, why should I live?' He saw eating as his life purpose. The meaning he attaches to food is very different. When the meaning he attaches to food is like this, he says, 'If I do not eat, life has no meaning.'"

“If you have a purpose in life, food is only to meet basic needs"

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, "This is what happens if he lives to eat. But if you have a purpose in life, food is only meant to meet basic needs. If you place food at the center of life, the purpose of life, eating becomes an emotional investment area. We love long tables, conversations, and culturally we love food."

In negative emotions, sweets such as sweet ice cream and cake are mostly eaten

Emphasizing the importance of complete physical, mental and social well-being of people, Prof. Tarhan stated that "It is not enough for people to be physically well, they must also be mentally and socially well-being. For example, binge eating attacks come, some people eat it, then provoke it with its finger and vomit. Right now, what we call anorexia bulimia is happening in the pleasure-oriented lifestyle of the binge eating type. A person can live very happily when he eats a little. The purpose of human existence in life is not to eat all the time. If we make it a philosophy of life to be happy by eating, it is seen that things such as sweet ice cream and cake are eaten in negative emotions, and things such as pizza, steak and casserole are eaten in positive emotions."

"The child learns all learning from the environment..."

Stating that children can distinguish between good and bad from the age of 15, Tarhan said that "Children learn all learning from the environment... In other words, there are children who get lost in the woods, they behave like whatever animal they grew up with. The child also takes the food as an example from the parents. If there is a constant conversation at home about 'What to eat for dinner’, if recipes are always talked about at home, or if the child is constantly running behind the child with a plate in his hand about eating, if it has become a form of communication between the child and the mother, that child makes emotional eating a form of communication in the future and is likely to be obese. Or there is a high probability of anorexia. An eating disorder situation arises.”

There are studies that consider eating as a type of addiction

Stating that there are studies that accept eating as a type of addiction because the reward system in the brain is disrupted, Prof. Tarhan expressed that "Dopamine in the brain is secreted excessively during eating. Dopamine is the brain chemical that gives you a feeling of extreme intoxication. It gives extreme pleasure. The person eats it constantly to make it secrete. If one has put pleasure at the center of their life, a person says, ‘I will die full at an early age rather than live hungry.’ In childhood, the culture at home influences the child. If the eating culture is like this at home, if there is a family culture that lives food as a purpose in life, if the style of 'We came to the world once, why should not we eat' is considered, the child is shaped accordingly."

Stating that "Children also feel the need to eat to be happy," Tarhan said that "Controlling appetite is actually like controlling one's urge to eat, controlling life. There are children who are addicted to coke. They drink 2 liters a day."

A healthy person also needs to learn to eat

Stating that modern life today is a cultural imperialism in the style of 'Live in the moment, be happy, ignore others, life is yours, do whatever you want, break the chains, break the walls', Tarhan said that "It affects the whole world globally. It is done on purpose as a consumption economy. Right now, obesity and emotional eating have increased to speed up the wheels of consumption, to speed up the wheel of earn-consume, so that more people pay taxes, more people buy. A healthy person needs to learn to control their psychological impulses and desires, where to drive, where to accelerate, and how to eat, just like learning to drive. It is necessary to teach this to children."

Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)