Eating disorders seem to primarily come about because food is equated with love. Maybe the person hasn't recieved healthy love so they look to food for that sense of being loved--that warm, happy, sensual, blissful feeling that can come about from various sources, one of which is food. When people do not feel loved and don't feel adequate enough to receive enough of it, food is an easy, safe and reliable option for that very much needed feeling. Food will not reject you, call you names, stomp on your feelings or traumatize you.
I was anorexic as a teenager and no one truly understood how to help me. I saw a nutritionist who gave me meal plans, but i knew how and what i should eat, that wasnt the issue at all. I was obsessed with nutrition due to the eating disorder so i understood what would be good for me to eat and how much. The problem was psychological, rooted in the very real experience of a lack of love. This sense of lack made me believe i didnt deserve love and since food creates a loving feeling i wouldn't allow myself to eat much at all. I saw different therapists but they also didn't understand that fundamental root issue of how nourishing ourselves is a loving act, so if you don't love yourself or don't believe you deserve love any food issues you may have needs to address those emotional beliefs. I ended up having to stay in the hospital for a month because my weight was so extremely low it was making my heart pump at a dangerously low rate. I was forced to lie in bed and take in a high number of calories, mostly from nutritional supplements. During that month, i started to feel loved because that perceived need to keep myself from eating food was silenced. I was able to enjoy food for the first time in a long time. So while the doctors felt it was good enough just to make sure my body was strong, i knew that i needed to allow myself to accept the love that comes from nourishing myself. Once i left the hospital, it was very difficult to stick with eating normal and i had my ups and downs. The reality was i didnt have the emotional support and that is something i have struggled with ever since. I am at a normal weight now, have been for years, but the only way it came about was through learning to love myself and allow myself to be loved.
So when it comes to obesity, it seems that these people also feel a sense of lack, an emotional hole that they don't know how to fill. Maybe this is not the case with every obese person, but i would bet that the majority are that way due to emotional reasons. They look to food to fill that void and which foods are naturally better at helping us feel warm and satiated? Simple sugars, white flour, candy, chocolate, ice cream, cookies, crackers, donuts, etc. All the foods that make us fat, make us crave more of it after we eat it, make us lethargic and less likely to want to exercise. Its an endless cycle. If a person felt loved from eating broccoli they probably wouldnt be overweight but broccoli simply doesnt create that warm and fuzzy feeling like the other foods i mention do. So while it wouldnt hurt for people to be more educated about nutrition, the emotional factor is a huge hurdle that i dont see getting enough emphasis, probably due to a lack of awareness.