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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Theory of hungering
by Khalsa-Zemel, Siri-Datar, Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2016, 161; 10254816
Abstract (Summary)

The high rates of obesity in the United States are alarming and the mind body link with hunger is a rich area for study. The purpose of this study was to identify overarching patterns in individuals’ relationships with hunger. The study findings touch on the fields of obesity, mind body medicine, and personal development.

The research methodology used for this study was classic grounded theory, which is a theory generating approach consisting of data collection and analysis. The process begins in an open-ended fashion and then becomes more refined as the theoretical patterns emerge from the process, at which point current literature is integrated.

The theory of hungering emerged from the analyzed data of eleven interviews, including adults who struggled with hunger, who had achieved mastery of physical hunger, and who were professionals in the fields of hunger and psychology. Two types of hunger–physical hunger and soul hunger–each require separate processes for simple nourishment and each include additional nuances beyond simple nourishment. The achievement of physical hunger mastery can include interoceptive awareness, hunger anticipation, hunger preparation, an eating schedule, and balanced nutrition. Nourishment can be interrupted at both the physical and the soul level, leading to hunger confusion and hunger suffering in some people. Interrupted nourishment can include lack of awareness, cognitive interference, emotional interference, family influence, and environmental influence. This tangled web can exacerbate food use, including binge eating and emotional eating, which can be related to food attachment, food language, dieting, and body image struggles. It may be possible for some people to escape this maze of confusion and interruptions through the process of self-awareness and personal development, which can include self-care, self-trust, effort to change, thought regulation, emotion regulation, social support, and structured nourishment.

While steps were taken to limit research bias, the lens through which the data was analyzed may have been impacted by personal interest, academic study, and professional experience. However, this substantive theory offers a unique perspective that may serve as a lens for future studies in the fields of obesity, weight loss, mind body medicine, and personal development.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Vander-Linden, Kara, Vega, Selene
Commitee: Johnston, Anita
School: Saybrook University
Department: Mind Body Medicine
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 78/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Alternative Medicine, Health sciences, Nutrition
Keywords: Hunger, Integrative medicine, Interoceptive awareness, Mind body medicine, Obesity
Publication Number: 10254816
ISBN: 978-1-369-60270-8
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