Obesity and Mental Health

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The World Health Organization reported obesity has almost tripled since 1975 worldwide. In the United States, 41% of the population is obese.

As discussed in our Treatment for Obesity guide, the disease can have many health risks associated with it. And beyond physical health, research has shown that obesity can also lead to psychological distress and mental illness.

People living with obesity can experience discrimination and biases regarding their weight. They can also have self-image problems and feel socially stigmatized for their weight, leading to an increased risk for psychological distress and mental illness.

This can adds stress, depression, and anxiety to their daily lives. This leads to negative feelings about oneself and can make it difficult to follow a treatment plan.

The physical inactivity and biological disruptions caused by obesity can also contribute to mental illness.

Mental Health is Important

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Obesity and Mental Health

Managing obesity and mental health simultaneously can be challenging. Research states that the importance of addressing both physical and psychological aspects when treating obesity.

Mental health disorders can be caused by self-image issues, biological disruptions caused by obesity, and social stigma.

  • Obesity can be linked to mood and anxiety disorders.
  • The relationship between obesity and mental health can vary, with some people coping through overeating and others experiencing emotional distress due to judgement and lowered self-esteem.
  • It is important to address both physical and emotional aspects of obesity in order to effectively treat and prevent the issue.

It's essential to address both the physical and psychological aspects of obesity to effectively treat and prevent this issue. Reducing social stigma and promoting physical activity are all important steps in improving one's self-image.

Stress and Obesity

Chronic stress can lead to behaviors that contribute to weight gain, such as emotional eating and decreased physical activity. Stress hormones also affect metabolism, leading to increased fat storage in the body. Overall, stress can contribute to the development of obesity.

On the other hand, obesity can also cause stress and low self-esteem. It’s important to manage stress in order to prevent weight gain and address any mental health issues that may arise from living with obesity.

Depression and Obesity

Depression and obesity often go hand in hand. Depression can lead to overeating, decreased physical activity, and weight gain. Obesity can also cause low self-esteem and shame, leading to depression. It’s important to address both depression and obesity simultaneously in order to effectively treat the issues. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be effective in treating both depression and obesity.

Anxiety and Obesity

Anxiety and obesity can also have a complex relationship. Anxiety can lead to emotional eating and weight gain, while obesity can cause social anxiety and shame. It’s important to address both anxiety and obesity in order to effectively treat the issues and prevent them from worsening. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be effective in treating both anxiety and obesity.