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“The diabolical relationship between obesity and mental health.”

  Obesity

Obesity occurs when an abnormal accumulation of fat in body, typically 20% or additional takes over a person’s ideal weight. Obesity is related to enhanced risk of health problems, disability, and death. Body mass index of 25.9-29 is taken into account overweight; Body mass index over 30 or more is taken into account to meet the criteria for obesity.

This means anyone with a body mass index of 30 or above can be diagnosed with obesity.

 

Causes of obesity

Poor diet

  • Obesity can be a result of poor diet:
  • Consuming large amounts of junk food
  • Comfort and binge eating
  • Having way too much alcohol
  • Drinking way too much alcohol
  • Dining out too much

Genetics

Obesity can also be inheritable. Ever heard someone saying “I have bardet-biedl syndrome.” Or “I have it in my family.” Even though this is rare but is very much possible. People suffering from Prader-willi syndrome which is also a genetic condition may also be obese.

Health issues

Different health conditions such as irritable-bowel syndrome, diabetes, Cushing syndrome, underactive thyroid and polycystic syndrome usually suffer from obesity as well. This is one of the main reasons one should always consult a physician for rapid weight gain.

Medications

Certain seizure medications, corticosteroids, antidepressants have also been found to contribute in weight gain.

Lack of exercise

consuming more calories than one can burn definitely and strongly contributes to the obesity. Going out for a walk, consulting a nutritionist, trainer, joining a gym, practicing yogic exercises might help one losing weight.

 Emotional factors

Stress, upset and angry mood can also lead to weight gain. Studies have shown stress may lead to binge eating or seeking comfort food more than usual which may result in weight gain as well.

Life style and environmental factors

Poor sleep patterns, zero control over food portions, lack of affordable gyms and lack of parks may also lead to significant weight gain.

 

The diabolical relationship between obesity and mental health

Various studies confirm that obesity leads to negative psychological consequences. It also contributes to poor body image which can further cause various eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, purging disorder etc.

Due to this body dissatisfaction obese people may also suffer from low levels of hope, self-esteem, mental wellbeing and self-confidence which may further give rise to inferiority complex and depression in these people. Mood disorders and anxiety disorders can also be a by-product of obesity.

Obesity is also a predisposing factor for many diseases such as gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, stroke and coronary artery disease which develops and increases the weight bias for people going through.

Imagine being brutally teased, bullied, rejected and ignored just because you don’t match the idea of the perfect body type and shape. People can be brutal. Life’s harsh for everyone. Even though this mustn’t happen but it is. And this is putting obese people on the stake, a virulent stake of anxiety, self-doubt, self-destruction and self- blaming.

Peer and societal pressure, social marginalization, social exclusion trending beauty standards, weight stigmatization, gender-based stereotypes, fat shaming can further induce suicidal ideation in obese people as compared to their non-obese counterparts.

Some studies also suggest that people already diagnosed with depression have a higher chance to develop metabolic syndromes as these people are more prone to seek comfort from food. And their “comfort food” mostly consists of high sugar, iodine and fat. Over eating and laziness are symptoms of a characteristic specific to a type of depression.

Obese people are most like to detest the advantages exercise. These people are also prone to prominent weight gains due to body type discrimination and emotional difficulties caused their non-obese counterparts. Obesity is associated with lack of self-control.

The gateway between obesity and body image leads to severe distress among the obese people. This hinders their ability to connect and form relationship with other people. People suffering from obesity tend to isolate themselves from crowds and avoid situations of engagement. Poor body image may often lead to body dysmorphia among these people. Poor body image also affects the sex life, social responses and eating behaviors.

Sexual impairment may also result from obesity. Obesity can enhance the risk of erectile dysfunction in men. Female arousal and obesity are also strongly associated with each other. Obese people also have trouble in desiring coitus and a tendency to avoid it.

Obesity and mental health are the two sides of a coin. They co-exist with each other. Just as mind and body interactions, obesity can result in ill health which can further result in anxiety and depression. People with obesity are extremely probable to experience teasing, bullying and be discriminated against.

This makes them feel demotivated, insulted, shameful, ugly, outcaste, traumatized, doubtful and even rejected from their social circles, which additionally, increases their emotional and mental strain and may cause them to seek comfort through unhealthy eating behaviors and obsessions, consuming harmful drugs and alcohol and self-harming activities. This could even cause further weight gain and demolish their personality, health, bodies and lives completely.

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