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Health Psychology (week 2) Health Behaviors Study Guide and Quiz

Updated on December 28, 2016

Quiz

The health benefits of regular exercise include:
A. increase of maximum oxygen consumption.

B. increase in strength and efficiency of the heart.

C. decrease in obesity.

D. All of these.

You are more likely to exercise if:

A. your family is positive about exercise.

B. you perceive yourself as athletic.

C. you believe that people should take responsibility for their health.

D. All of these.

Recent epidemiological evidence suggests that fat in the _______________ is an especially potent risk factor for disease.
A. abdomen

B. hips and buttocks

C. abdomen, hips, and buttocks

D. None of these.

Persons most likely to show increased emotional reactivity to stress and to eat in response to stress are

A. dieters.

B. women.

C. obese people.

D. All of these.

Multimodal programs to modify obesity typically include which of the following components?
A. exercise

B. cognitive restructuring

C. social support

D. All of these.

Evaluations of cognitive-behavioral weight-loss programs conclude that
A. such programs are unlikely to meet most people's needs because 95 percent of all diets fail.

B. such programs produce only modest weight loss and maintenance of weight loss.

C. longer programs that include exercise and relapse prevention are most successful.

D. such programs appear to be more useful for severely obese persons than for mildly obese persons.

Anorexia has been found to be correlated with
body image disturbance.

genetic factors.

family dynamics.

All of these.

_______________ hours of sleep is recommended for restorative and preventative means.

A. six

B. seven

C. eight

D. nine

A person with a BMI (body mass index) above _______________ is obese.

A. 10

B. 20

C. 30

D. 40

Poor diet has been linked with
A. colon cancer.

B. total serum cholesterol level.

C. pancreatic cancer.

D. All of these.


Why do people participate in unhealthy behaviors, and why is it so difficult to quit? What strategies seem to be useful in facilitating healthy change? Please use specific examples in your response. Feel free to use the resources included in this module or others that you may find when formulating your response, but remember to cite your sources!

According to Health Psychology (2015) unhealthy behaviors are behaviors practiced by people that undermine or harm their future health; these behaviors can often become habitual and/or prove to be addictive over time. People participate in unhealthy behaviors because of social pressure, the positive feelings that they associate with the behavior, a desire to fit in with a social group, stress, and many other reasons that can differ from person to person. Many people struggle to stop an unhealthy behavior because of the fact that the unhealthy behavior became an ingrained part of their life or routine. For instance, obesity is often caused by unhealthy eating behaviors; these eating behaviors might not be addictive, but they are a part of the person’s every day routine which makes it more difficult for the person to decide to successfully quit the behavior. The unhealthy behaviors that are even harder to quit are those that are addictive, for example, drugs and smoking. The easiest time to quit an unhealthy behavior is the time before it becomes a habit and/or before a person’s body develops an addiction to it.

Once an unhealthy behavior becomes a person’s habit or addiction there are several strategies that can be employed to quit the unhealthy behavior. Most unhealthy behaviors can be quit using a combination of an intervention, cognitive behavior therapy, support from family and friends, and cognitive restructuring. For many people the first step to quitting an unhealthy behavior is an intervention; some people need an intervention in order to recognize that they are engaging in an unhealthy behavior. The intervention can also serve to show the person that they have the support of their friends and/or family in quitting the behavior. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a strategy that has been successfully used to treat unhealthy behaviors as it focuses on exploring the relationships among a person's thoughts, feelings and behaviors; the goal of the therapy is to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and address the unhealthy patterns in a positive manner (National Alliance on Mental Illness, .n.d.). Cognitive restructuring can then be used to replace negative thoughts with more constructive ways of thinking, for example, “I broke my diet, this diet plan will never work” could instead be replaced with “I made a mistake when I broke my diet, but I will do better in the future”; this cognitive restructuring is an important part of quitting an unhealthy behavior because a person who is always thinking negatively about their progress is less likely to put in the needed effort than a person who understands that everyone makes mistakes and does not allow those mistakes to solely define their success.

References

National Alliance on Mental Illness (n.d.) Psychotherapy. Retrieved from

http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Treatment/Psychotherapy

Taylor, S. (2015). Health Psychology (9th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Answer and Response

Answer

There are many reasons why someone might participate in unhealthy behaviors. Social influences and convince are two that I find most prominent. Some people may call themselves a "social drinker" or "social smokers". This means that they smoke and drink when they are around other people that are smoking and drinking. If you've ever been around a bunch of smokers (especially when smoking) you know that once one person lights up, another does then another and so on until the first person is lighting up again. It's the need/desire that is so easy to cave to when everyone around you is doing it.

Everyone is different which means not every strategy in facilitating a healthy change will work for everyone. Some people can quit "cold turkey" but that requires a great amount of self discipline. Working in the health field I have seen many people become healthier with a partner. Maybe it's a gym buddy or a group of friends all following the same diet, either way they find it easier when someone else is going through the same thing. For certain unhealthy behaviors there are medications to help wean you off and sometimes you just need to use your will power. If you promised your significant other that you wouldn't text and drive, that may be enough to help you stop; the promise.


My Response

I agree with you that there are many different reasons for a person to participate in unhealthy behaviors. Social influences are definitely one of the largest reasons; however different people often have their own personal reasons. According to Health Psychology (2015) unhealthy behaviors are behaviors practiced by people that undermine or harm their future health; these behaviors can often become habitual and/or prove to be addictive over time. Once the unhealthy behavior becomes a habit it becomes harder to quit.

I never really paid much attention to drinkers and smokers (except to go out of my way to avoid smokers), but upon thinking about them I have noticed that when one person starts the behavior other people often copy them. I think this is caused my people not wanting to be left out of what they consider to be both cool and fun. No matter the persons reason for starting the habit quitting can be difficult and different methods work best for different people. For instance people with a strong will might be able to pull off the cold turkey method; while other people prefer to quit slowly. For instance a smoker could cut down on the number of cigarettes they smoke each day until they reach zero.

References

Taylor, S. (2015). Health Psychology (9th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Answer and Response 2

Answer

One of the most common asked question- “why do people participate in unhealthy behaviors?”. Why is it that we partake in things that harms us? I ask myself that question daily, as I smoke cigarettes. It’s the most bizarre thing, I hate the way I smell, the way I look from it, and the way I feel, yet I still continue to do it. Many who participate in unhealthy behaviors do so because some part of it increases mood and general well-being while offering a pleasurable and rewarding feeling. The health-compromising behaviors that individuals engage in have many effects of both the brain and body. For instance, drugs such as opioids target the brains reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine which creates a euphoric feeling. Drugs are very similar to the chemicals that are already in our system, but when an individual takes drugs it alters the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. The reward pathway is an important survival mechanism for the individual, it supports learning by rewarding us for actions which lead us to learn behaviors. The majority of all drugs target the brain’s reward pathway, this reward pathway is responsible for the feelings of wanting, desire, and pleasure. When the brain receives feelings of euphoria it remembers those feelings and craves repeating the behavior over and over which can ultimately lead to addiction which is why it can be very difficult to quit.

Many strategies have been implemented in the lives of those striving for a healthier lifestyle. I am a firm believer in exercise and social support, each offer a feeling of being needed which can promote a sense of belonging. Along with exercise and social support, Relapse prevention as the name implies aims to prevent relapse. It consists of multiple therapeutic methods that are useful in preventing or eliminating relapse from diet and exercise to pharmacotherapy. The therapist focuses on high-risk situations and enhancing the client’s skills for coping with those certain situations and also developing managing techniques such as; self-monitoring, self-reinforcement, and self-talk (Taylor, 2015). This therapy is a great way for individuals to really get a hold on their life, but the willingness to change is what really makes this approach effective.

References

Taylor, Shelley. Health Psychology, 9th Edition. McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 01/2015. VitalBook file.

My Response

I really liked how you opted to begin your post with questions, it is a unique way of beginning your post and it made me want to read more of your post. I also really liked how you included your own experiences with smoking and how you used those experiences to show the mindset of a person who uses unhealthy behaviors.
Exercise and social support can play a large role in helping someone to quit an unhealthy behavior. However I also believe that most unhealthy behaviors can be quit using a combination of an intervention, cognitive behavior therapy, support from family and friends, and cognitive restructuring. I believe that cognitive behavior therapy is the most important therapy in quitting an unhealthy habit. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a strategy that has been successfully used to treat unhealthy behaviors as it focuses on exploring the relationships among a person's thoughts, feelings and behaviors; the goal of the therapy is to uncover unhealthy patterns of thought and address the unhealthy patterns in a positive manner (National Alliance on Mental Illness, .n.d.).


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