Intuitive eating: An emerging approach to eating behavior

Cadena-Schlam, Leslie; López-Guimerà, Gemma
March 2015
Nutricion Hospitalaria;mar2015, Vol. 31 Issue 3, p995
Introduction: In an effort to treat obesity, health care professionals pursue, by means of dieting and exercise interventions, weight loss as a primary goal of treatment. Although in few cases these interventions induce short-term moderate weight loss, in the long-term, the efficacy of these treatments is at least questionable. Weight-loss interventions based on restrictive diets may be associated to adverse health and well-being. In this regard, some researchers have considered shifting the focus of obesity treatment into a health-centered paradigm. Among the models derived from this new paradigm, Health at Every Size (HAES) is one of the most referenced. HAES has enhanced intuitive eating as a core component of the paradigm, which refers to the reliance on biological mechanisms to regulate food intake (i.e., internal hunger and satiety cues). Recently, intuitive eating has been winning recognition since it have been associated with numerous indices of physical and psychological well-being, and noteworthy, it have not been related to any adverse effects. Objective: The present paper reviews the concept of intuitive eating, as well as the existing evidence that upholds this emerging approach. Also, it discusses the implication of shifting the focus of dietetic interventions into a health-centered paradigm. Design: Narrative Review. Conclusions: Although it is certain there is a need to extend current research on health-centered interventions, this approach may be a more promising and realistic alternative to address overweight and obesity than the conventional weight-loss treatments.


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