Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Cognitive Dissonance, 7

The obesity pandemic may reflect cognitive dissonance. An individual learns that obesity is linked with more than 50 diseases along with a potential increased risk for dementia and for a shortened lifespan. The person also knows fried foods, fast foods, sugary drinks, and refined highly processed foods represent low quality nutrition and increase the risk for gaining weight. The person convinces him/herself that the solution is to go on a juice fast for three days out of every month, and that this will compensate for what happens the other 27 or 28 days of the month. When a three-day juice fast does not result in significant weight loss, the individual then embraces the belief that “My weight is genetic and there is nothing I can do about it. My parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles were all obese. It runs in my family.” Convinced of this wisdom, the person discontinues the periodic juice fasts but alters nothing related to eating choices and habits, until being hospitalized due to morbid obesity.

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