In general, obesity is the outcome of a positive energy balance, in which the caloric intake is greater than the energy output. The reason why obese people overeat is the subject of much interest and concern in the medical profession. Schachter (1968) suggested that external (nonvisceral) cues, not visceral hunger stimulus, are the regulating factors for eating in obese people. These individuals seem to be unresponsive to physiological hunger signals such as gastric hyper-motility and blood sugar levels. Schachter also showed that obese people are hyperresponsive to cognitive and sensory qualities of food. In contrast, both Kincey (1981) and Isbitzki and Romano White (1981) had difficulty in verifying these findings. From these results and others, a controversy exists on the exact causes of overeating.


Anorexia Nervosa Obese Child Caloric Intake Energy Output Blood Sugar Level 
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  1. Isbitzki JR, Romano White D (1981) Externality and locus of control in obese children. J Psychol 107:163,172Google Scholar
  2. Kincey J (1981) Internal-external control and weight loss in the obese. J Clin Psychol 37(1): 100–103PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Schachter S (1968) Obesity and eating. Science 161:751–75PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. L. Edelstein
    • 1
  1. 1.JerusalemIsrael

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