Professor of psychology Charles Emery and other researchers at the Ohio State University have observed some interesting data about obesity in a recent study. The study focused on the home environment of obese and non obese participants and found that obese participants kept more visible food throughout the house and that food tended to be less-healthy. Both obese and non obese participants reported eating about the same number of calories and spent about the same amount on food; however, the non obese participants spent less on fast food.
The amount of food in participants’ homes was similar, however obese participants tended to store food in visible places throughout the house rather than it being concentrated in the kitchen. However Emery was quick to point out: “We’re painting a detailed picture of the home environment that two different groups of people have created. Whether that environment contributed to obesity or obesity led to the environment, we don’t know.”
Emery also stated:
“I do think the home environment is a really important place to focus on since that’s where most people spend a majority of their time. For interventions, we should be thinking about the home as a place to start helping people establish what we know to be healthier habits and behaviors.”
Emery pointed out that changing eating habits isn’t like shaking most bad habits – like smoking – as one cannot simply stop eating. The study reported that obese participants stated greater, non-monetary concerns about access to food and found it more difficult not to eat when stressed out or in a place or situation where eating is socially acceptable.
“You can’t just stop eating, but ideally you can change the way you eat and, to some degree, change the way you’re thinking about eating.”