Obesity rates are at an all-time high, with more than one-third of Americans classified as obese. The increase in obesity prevalence has led to increased medical costs due to health complications associated with weight gain, such as diabetes and heart disease. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a psychotherapeutic approach that focuses on the way cognitive processes influence human behavior.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help patients cope with their thoughts about food, exercise, and themselves by providing them with skills necessary for managing these behaviors. This blog post will explore how CBT may be able to help people reduce their risk of developing obesity or manage it better if they already have it.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approaches have started to play an important role in the treatment of obesity.
Obesity is a public health problem that concerns all segments of society today, has serious negative effects on mortality and morbidity rates, and is one of the most important health problems of developed and developing countries.
What is obesity?
Obesity is usually thought of as having too much body fat. Bodyweight, however, is the more appropriate term because obesity can also be caused by excess muscle mass. If your body fat or BMI ranges between 20% to 29%, you are considered overweight. If your body fat or BMI ranges between 30-39%, you are considered obese, and greater than 40% indicates a morbidly obese individual.
A person who has a high body fat percentage often suffers from health problems such as type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, arthritis, and gout.
Cognitive behavioral therapy of obesity includes:
- stimulus control,
- eating control,
- reinforcement and empowerment,
- cognitive restructuring,
- proper nutrition education,
- increasing physical activity and behavioral contract.
In the treatment of obesity, combining the changes in lifestyle such as diet and increasing physical activity with cognitive-behavioral interventions increases the efficacy of the treatment and ensures sustained weight gain.
Behavioral Therapy and Obesity
Behavioral therapy is based on learning principles. These principles are human expectations about the consequences of their behavior and behavior change in response to environmental requirements. They are based on a large number of studies. The aim is to replace unwanted behavior with healthy ones. Or decreasing the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle and making a new out of it.
The purpose of treatment of behavior change is to create lifelong behavior change and thus to maintain the desired body weight in the long term. The relationship between the biological basis of obesity and behaviors is important. If the total energy consumed exceeds the energy received, the negative energy balances weight loss. The main goal of behavioral treatment in obesity is to reduce eating and increase activity.
According to behavior theory, eating behavior strengthens due to the tastes of foods. In summary, the person ignores the negative consequences of overeating in long term over the taste and smell of the short-term pleasure.
Exercise causes fatigue, discomfort, and coercion, especially for obese people. But if they exercise regularly, long-term fitness, weight loss, and healthier life are not impossible.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Obesity
Behavioral treatment for obesity is usually administered for 12-20 weeks in 1-2 hours sessions per week with groups of 10-12 people under the direction of a therapist.
The steps of behavioral treatment are;
- Stimulus control
- Control of eating behavior
- Cognitive restructuring
- Proper nutrition education
- Increasing physical activity
- Methods of maintaining attained and/or ideal weight
Last Updated on December 3, 2021 by William Lindberg