Study: Seven Styles of Eating Can Lead to Obesity

A new study published in the September issue of Explore, a journal of science and healing, identifies seven eating patterns associated with overeating and obesity.

"Good Morning America" medical contributor Dr. David Katz discussed the seven patterns of eating identified in the study and how they negatively affect people's relationship with food.

The study, called "Seven Eating Styles Linked to Overeating, Overweight, and Obesity," was written by Larry Scherwitz and Deborah Kesten.

Seven Eating Styles:

Fresh Food, Fast Food: This means eating more processed, high-calorie food -- especially fast food -- and less fresh food.

Food Fretting: Being overly concerned about what you eat, and having negative and guilty feelings associated with food.

Task Snacking: If you're distracted when you eat, you will tend to eat more and gain weight.

Eating Atmosphere: It really does matter where you eat. If you eat in a calm setting, you're less likely to struggle with how much you eat.

Social Fare: Eating alone is associated with overeating. When you eat with someone else, you're more likely to slow down and eat less.

Emotional Eating: This means you use food to manage your feelings.

Sensory/Spiritual Nourishment: This means you infuse your food with special meaning.

What Can You Do About It?

Katz says it's difficult for most people in American society to control their weight, simply because there is abundant food and more technology, which means we have to do less physical activity.

But the message is to examine not only what you are eating but also your relationship with food. Where do you usually eat? Who do you eat with? What other things do you do while you're eating? If you find yourself frequently scarfing down a doughnut in your car on the way to work, you might want to take some steps to change how you are eating.