The 3c System. Psychology of food behaviour:
a multidimensional approach to the treatment of obesity.
Tosarelli Lorenza Martelli Caterina Brighenti Alice
Studio Terramare (www.studioterramare.it), Bologna - Italy
An experience carried out inside our professional team has been introduced in the field of the psychology of health. It refers to the treatment of obesity on a biopsycosocial standard.
The aim is the development of strategies of coping in the obese patient in order to make him lose weight. Our approach is multidimensional and long-term and the interaction amongs different professional figures is expected.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2008), obesity is one of the main problem in public welfare in the world, a “global epidemy” for the 50% of the adult population in the industrialized world.
Even if obesity is not placed in DSM-IV-TR (2000) as a disorder due to food behaviour, it is always to be considered a food behaviour non-adaptive respect to the welfare of the subject. Obesity is defined a chronic pathology based on multifactorial etiology and characterized by a high body weight due to an excessive stock of adipose tissue. Both obesity and excess weight are important factors in risking an untimely death and numerous chronic pathologies.
The act of eating is not only a mechanic routine but a complicated system related to both biological (hormonal, digestive and metabolic), psychological and cultural stimulus.
The 3c System is a multidimensional and multi-professional programme and its aim is to improve an independent running of the body weight without restrictive diets. It is a gradual loss of weight. In a global approach involving the subject in his individuality and wholeness the professional figures involved in the programme are: the psychologist, the doctor, the dietician and the graduate in physical education.
Reaching the 3c System means to have a proper knowledge (trad. it. conoscenza) of oneself, of the body and food and to discover again the awareness (trad. it. consapevolezza) of one’s own physical and psychological processes of hunger keeping in mind the feelings involved. Then it also means to develop one’s own creativity (trad. it. creatività) to find successful and personal strategy of coping.
This project has been born and grown in “the learning by doing” field (Dewey, 1938), (i.e. an experience on a field that constantly develops towards a construction of more and more accurate knoledges). It deals with the problem of obesity offering an effective pattern of intervention that will be internalized by the patient as a long-term working pattern. Moreover it will allow room for caring about oneself from the point of view of a thin lifestyle.