How Obesity Affects Mental Health?

This article was medically reviewed by Op. Dr. Ahmet Şadi Kılınç

Reyap Hospital – Istanbul, Turkey

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Obesity can lead to depression through several pathways. The physical health problems and limitations caused by obesity can lead to feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Additionally, the societal stigma and discrimination against those who are obese can cause social isolation and low self-esteem, further contributing to depressive symptoms.

Yes, improving physical health through weight management can positively impact mental health. Regular physical activity and a healthier diet not only help with weight loss but also improve mood, reduce stress, and enhance self-esteem. Many individuals find that as they achieve healthier lifestyles, their overall mental well-being also improves.

Yes, there is a significant link between obesity and certain eating disorders, particularly binge eating disorder. Individuals with this disorder frequently experience episodes of eating large quantities of food, often in response to emotional distress, without the compensatory behaviors seen in other eating disorders. Addressing these behaviors is crucial for both mental health and effective weight management.

Combatting the social isolation associated with obesity involves fostering supportive and inclusive environments. Joining support groups or community activities that focus on inclusivity regardless of body size can be beneficial. Additionally, therapy or counseling can help individuals develop coping strategies to deal with negative societal attitudes and build a more positive self-image.

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