Intrapersonal – Personal Choices and Genetic Factors

The intrapersonal level of the ecological model involves the personal characteristics and factors of an individual. This section of the book explores many intrapersonal factors that affect one’s weight and their actions, beliefs, and thoughts that contribute to their overall health and well-being.

The Role of Hormones” is the first chapter in this section, and it discusses the relationship between hormones and how they are affected by diet, sleep, and weight. This chapter falls under the topic of intrapersonal because hormones are chemical messengers that are created by the body. Hormones are produced by an individual, and the production of hormones is influenced by one’s behavior, genetics, and other internal aspects.

The Psychology of Eating” discusses how one’s mental state contributes to behaviors that affect eating and weight. Placing this chapter under intrapersonal is appropriate because it involves the psychological mindsets of individual people.

Gender Differences in Metabolism” presents information about the differences between men and women that cause their metabolisms to function differently, thus leading to a difference in body composition. The chapter explains how many of these differences come about, and it discusses how metabolism is affected by other factors such as pregnancy and hormonal changes. It falls under the intrapersonal category because it discusses the biological difference between men and women and the individual behaviors that they can partake in to prevent weight gain or promote weight maintenance.

Stress and Obesity” talks about how a person’s stress levels can contribute to weight gain and eventually lead to obesity. This chapter discusses what stress actually is, how stress can trigger particular hormones, and how to avoid stress eating. By learning about stress, people will be able to cope properly, which can help stop stress-related behaviors that can lead to weight gain. “Stress and Obesity” is included in the intrapersonal section because the chapter discusses how stress affects an individual person and their weight and provides advice on how people can avoid engaging in the dangerous behavior of stress eating.

Comorbidities of Obesity” refers to a cluster of diseases that a person can develop due to obesity. These include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many others. This chapter aims to make people more aware of the consequences of unhealthy eating and encourages them to take care of themselves. It is included in the intrapersonal section because the diseases that people experience due to obesity are a personal issue that does not directly affect others and is treated by individual efforts to live a healthier lifestyle.

The next chapter focuses on Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), a disorder in which a person is overly concerned with his or her appearance. People affected by this are so concerned with their appearance that they begin to notice or create flaws that do not actually exist. This chapter looks at what it is, the signs and symptoms of it, the impact of society and social media on BDD, and how to diagnose and treat this disorder. BDD is included in this section because it is a disorder that affects individual people, and is cured by directly treating the individual.

Prevalence of Eating Disorders in Men and Women” discusses various aspects that are involved in the development of eating disorders in men versus women. Because eating disorders are most commonly reported among women, the number of men with eating disorders may be more than what is currently known due to men not seeking out treatment for their illness. Exploring the differences in eating disorders between men and women creates awareness about the stigmas that surround men having eating disorders. This chapter is included in the intrapersonal section because it focuses on differences between men and women rather than exploring relationships between other people or external factors.



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An Ecological Approach to Obesity and Eating Disorders Copyright © 2020 by Zach Harley; Victoria Kellogg; Tyler Mandel; Ashley Jacoby; Sydney Worrrall; Savannah Shope; Samuel Garrson; Randy Fang; Peyton Sutley; Nicole Barber; Maclaine Hanvey; Laurie Barton; Lauren Gohs; Kelly Berk; Katie Yacu; Katie Dzoba; Greg Goines; Federico Martinez; Drew Belsha; Conor Coleman; Chris Matlashewski; Brian Weaver; and Brandon Perdue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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