Stephan's posts on food reward and obesity and my own efforts to write a paper over this weekend have caused me to muse on one thing I've had an issue: low appetite. In high school my mother would often come home from work on Saturdays at 4 and berate me for not having eaten. Chances are I was reading or playing video games instead. Late in high school my weight and appetite started to increase dramatically reaching its apex in college. I never figured out why. I would binge eat, but I would also eat excessively during meals. Some of it was probably social, but I'm sure much of it was the kind of food that made up my diet. In the college dorms all my friends ate really badly. I remember "Mexican night" which would start with two plates of tacos, then a plate of churros, and finally end with some ice cream and soda.
Once I removed myself from that situation, my appetite was lowered again. Maybe it was partially resolve to not eat things like that any more? Last year when my doctor told me my blood pressure was too low, I resolved to eat more. It was a constant struggle. Last night is a perfect example: I was working in the library and I kept finding interesting things. Dinner time came and went. I realized at 9:30 that I probably should eat, but I wasn't very hungry.
Then today I was working on the paper and just wasn't hungry. I ate some breakfast reluctantly. I forgot to eat lunch because I was too absorbed in reading. Right now I'm procrastinating about eating dinner. It baffles me that people can overeat on the sort of foods in my diet. I just can't imagine over-eating the roots, cheese, meat, or fish in my diet. Even this week when I made tamales at a cooking class, I certainly didn't want very many of them. I'm I an outlier? Many of the women in my family are under-eaters on both sides.
In my world, the only foods I'm in danger of over-eating are those industrial foods designed to encourage that behavior. I remember promising myself I'd only eat one Oreo and then eating all of them. In laboratories across the country there are scientists who specialize in creating the optimal aromas, textures, colors, and flavors that will make people eat more.
Do you eat a whole foods diet and have trouble with over-eating? Under-eating?