Munson Health
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - W.O.W. Program Helps Emotional Eaters Overcome
W.O.W. Program Helps Emotional Eaters Overcome
Program includes sessions with counselor, dietitians, exercise specialists and more
Feelings of insecurity, depression, or rejection sometimes trigger a raid on the refrigerator or spontaneous trip for fast food.
People caught up in a cycle of “emotional eating” eventually find themselves with a body mass index indicating they are overweight and physical symptoms such as high blood pressure, or higher blood sugar levels that indicate a pre-diabetes condition.
“We define emotional eating as the practice where food becomes a way to self-medicate and cope with feelings. Hunger is not present,” said Christine Walton, L.M.S.W., a counselor for the Working Off Weight or W.O.W. program. “Usually these cravings are for high-calorie, sweet, fatty foods which can set up binge eating that leave the person with little enjoyment and feeling guilty.”
Common triggers for emotional eating include feelings of anxiety, depression, dissatisfaction, anger, tension, hostility, nervousness, and loneliness. Sometimes people eat as a substitute for love, as a reward, or because of cultural pressures.
Support through Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital’s W.O.W. program helps participants restructure their lifestyle, identify personal food triggers, and develop healthier eating choices.
W.O.W. Program Coordinator Sarah Wetmore said to become eligible, participants must have a body mass index of 27 or higher and be interested in losing at least 25 pounds. The program runs for four months.

In addition to classes in nutrition and behavioral health, W.O.W. participants will have sessions with dietitians, exercise specialists, and receive access to long-term online support. For more information and to register for the next session, call Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital Healthy Weight Center at (231) 352-9661 or Wetmore at (231) 935-8653.
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Dale Killingbeck
Munson Healthcare Corporate Communications
(231) 935-3393