Self-Regulation Plant-based Food Dieting a Measure against Obesity and Overweight
Self-regulation implies the human capacity necessary for individual survival but equally crucial for groups and human species, yet failures abound to this behavior (Lopez et al. 193). As such, the current obesity rates and the epidemic is a suggestion about the failures to self-regulate. This is equally confirmed by the ever-growing dieting industry (Turner-McGrievy et al. 369), all indicating the degree to which people have failed to exert self-control in eating. The failure to realize the long-term dietary and weight management goals are but attributed to innocuous and small decisions, including people overindulging in eating ice cream servings, cake, or every fails to resist the urge to but candy from a supermarket. Those with self-regulation challenges would challenge any recommendation for self-exerted control on dieting as a tedious task, impossible undertaking, and infringement on personal choices or decisions (Swinburn et al. 127). Some have even challenged that vegans are overly obsessed with food intake and are doing it for ‘belonging’ and not specifically to diet or maintain good body weight (Jones 1). Yet, the empirical evidence is there for everyone to digress, even for anti-vegans. Every single step that one takes in dieting by exercising self-control reduces the chances of obesity or overweight. Planning a diet is about a person knowing the standard calories to take in a day, limiting oneself to unhealthy habits like eating candies, drinking sugar-sweetened beverages. Hence, this argument maintains that exercising self-control through the dietary intake of plant-based foods protects individuals against weight gain and dangers of obesity, a way of limiting animal-foods and encouraging diet-conscious behavior.
Exercising self-control or regulation involves limited unhealthy and negative eating patterns like binge eating, but not specifically restrained eating as some would think. In so doing, there is a greater extent of restrained in eating necessary in preventing obesity and overweight. This follows research by Swinburn et al. who confirmed that “a ‘flexible restraint’ eating pattern is associated with a lower risk of weight gain” (126). As such, the author stresses the need for self-regulation and control by avoiding bad habits like binge eating. This is further supported by the notion that from cross-sectional studies, binge eating has been found to have a relationship with obesity patterns. Although studies have always found a complex relationship between binge eating and obesity, most of the reports outline binge eating as one of the development trajectories towards obesity and overweight. Therefore, it stands out clear from the current argument and assertion that self-regulation is needed to address obesity and overweight. Although exercising self-control is a challenge, this is the only evidence-proven means by which the obesity epidemic can be addressed.
Self-regulation as an aspect of dieting concerns how body weight is influenced by dietary patterns, of which limiting or regulating the amount and type of food taken is a step towards preventing obesity or overweight. As such, this conception and assumption follow derives from epidemiological studies that have explored how bodyweight differs based on dietary patterns. For instance, Turner-McGrievy et al. identified such patterns as vegan or pure vegetarian and the moderating role in weight gain (370). As such, dieting practices like veganism is associated with weight loss, since “studies have shown that vegans gain significantly less weight as they age compared to omnivores” (Turner-McGrievy et al. 369). In this case, self-regulation and control will be about consuming less of animal-based foods and increasing the amount of plant-based foods in the plate or diet. The evidence confirms the inherent need for self-control and regulation, more so a focus on an entirely plant-based diet, or even limiting the number of animal foods and increasing the servings of plant-based foods. Therefore, this shows how self-regulation and control as aspects of dieting call for shifting to plant-based foods and reducing the number of animal foods that have been confirmed to result in excessive weight gain.
Self-regulation and control when it comes to dieting are about consuming quality foods or diets. Diet, quality, in this case, is associated with the health and well-being of an individual to which consuming certain foods is associated with profound health benefits like maintaining a good healthy weight and low Basal Metabolic Index. This conception is supported by the existing empirical evidence. For instance, Turner-McGrievy et al. noted about vegan diets being “healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in preventing and treating some diseases” (370). The central argument, in this case, is about the inclination towards consuming healthy towards as with regards to the behavioral change to consuming ‘qualify foods’. Quality food, in this case, should not be about consuming the most expensive and delicious meatballs, pizza, grilled meat, chicken, and the likes. Quality food, in this case, is about consuming food with health benefits. Therefore, a behavioral change towards planning for ‘quality foods’ should be about self-discipline to consume foods with fewer calories like plant-based diets that have less cholesterol and pose less danger to overweight or obesity.
Arguments against self-regulation center on infringing on personal choices and morality of imposing ideologies on others. Yes, it is right within any person’s capacity to refute the infringement of personal choice and even imposing other people’s ideologies as the universally accepted way of viewing food. For instance, others will say “that food and anything to do with diet is specifically a personal choice” (Jones 2). Hence, the direction of argument is about eating animals or plant foods boiling down to choice and freedom, especially the morality of autonomy. Therefore, they believe and take vegans as individuals who want to force views, direct and influence people on inherent choices. However, this is not a question of personal choice but rather, public health. Obesity and overweight is a major public health problem ranking among the leading killer non-communicable diseases. The diseases we have around, including hypertension and diabetes all find their basis from obesity. In this case, the discussion should not about imposing ideas on others but a concern for public health. Self-regulation and control through dieting with plant-based foods should be viewed as a public health intervention against obesity.
In conclusion, for obesity rates to reduce there is the inherent necessity to practice behavioral change and regulation. It is about people seeing and valuing the need to reevaluate their behaviors and think of better ways that they can protect themselves against the repercussions that come with gaining weight. Weight gain is majorly attributed to poor dietary habits like consuming junk foods and more servings of animal-based foods or fats. In so doing, there is the inherent need to have a relook on people’s behaviors and be motivated to exercise self-control and regulation by getting accustomed to plant-based diets as a dietary or nutritional behavior. It is confirmed by empirical studies that the way to address obesity is for people to consume more of plant-based foods and internalize this as a behavioral change or ascription. Self-control or regulation through dietary planning towards plant-based foods and the reduction of animal-based foods is the only way society can address the ever-increasing obesity rates.
Jones, Robert C. “20 Anti-Vegan Arguments and Replies.” Encyclopedia of Veganism and Animal Ethics, Presses Universitaires de France, 2020 (2020).
Lopez, Richard B., et al. “Motivational and neural correlates of self-control of eating: a combined neuroimaging and experience sampling study in dieting female college students.” Appetite 103 (2016): 192-199.
Swinburn, Boyd A., et al. “Diet, nutrition and the prevention of excess weight gain and obesity.” Public health nutrition 7.1a (2004): 123-146.
Turner-McGrievy, Gabrielle, Trisha Mandes, and Anthony Crimarco. “A plant-based diet for overweight and obesity prevention and treatment.” Journal of geriatric cardiology: JGC 14.5 (2017): 369.