People shouldn't overstate the depression/stifling aspect of overeating. For many, it's just status quo.
I never reached the heights of a 445# frame., but I did get up to 270-275#. I never felt a compulsion to eat, but we had nice restaurants near work and it was a nice break to sit down to a generous tasty meal and chat at mid day.
I went from 180-240# in college and was happy as a clam throughout. There was just a cafeteria with tons of shitty food available 24/7.
People aren't cowering somewhere eating compulsively to mask mental pain. They simply aren't thinking about it. Too large of a meal with too much fat and too many calories is simply too routine and too tasty to resist day in, day out. Processed food pops out of the fridge and heats right up, veggies have to be chopped mixed and cooked, and go bad within the week. It's a pain in the ass to eat healthy. I know because I actually PREFER salads and fresh veggies to processed food. But between going to market, picking out produce, preparing it, then throwing out the spoiled EVERY week, all it takes is one session of tossing some fries or mozzarella sticks on a baking sheet to fall back into familiar patterns.
I'm now back down to 195#, but it took a volitional realization that I HATED how I looked and an extended period of nearly no caloric intake [never did exercise, didn't have the time].
In sum, for many overeating is a default not a proactive effort. The proactive effort is NOT overeating.
All Redd [Foxx] did all day was coke, grass and ****. . .
So our first network taping, name in big letters right on the set, Redd doesn't arrive at curtain call.
I go back to his dressing room, all I see is the girl doing his hair is sitting on him.
So I see her body, her dress, and his legs.
I say, Redd, don't you know we're on camera?
Redd sticks his head up from between the hairdresser's legs and asks indignantly. . .
"Can't a man relax?"
- Bob Einstein