obesity and mental health: did you know that obesity and mental health are linked?

Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. This can not only impact physical well-being, but mental well-being as well.

Bariatric surgeon Dr Manish Motwani says: “Obesity will lead to mental health problems as well as heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney and liver problems and sleep apnea. Similarly, having a mental health issue can also influence a person’s weight. Obesity and mental health problems go hand in hand. It is important to follow healthy lifestyle habits to manage weight and mental health issues.

Why is obesity still a concern?

There is a long-term association between obesity and mental health problems. The most likely contributing factors to obesity are genetic, psychological, environmental, social and cultural influences. Obesity is not just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that also increases the risk of other diseases and health problems. Excess weight (obesity, overweight) does more than increase weight and increases the risk of major health problems. Nearly 70-80% of obese patients have mental health issues, according to Dr. Motwani.

“Obesity is also linked to stress, low self-esteem and depression. Many have become introverted, they stay at home and their productivity has also decreased,” he adds.

Here, we decode the link between obesity and mental health.

Obesity is linked to mental health problems
Obesity causes emotional distress. Being overweight can cause negative feelings about yourself. There is evidence that obesity is linked to mental disorders and many drugs used to treat psychiatric illnesses. Stress is a factor in depression and obesity. Chronic stress and anxiety, for example, can lead to depression. Similarly, stress, depression, or bipolar disorder can make a person more likely to turn to food as a coping mechanism that can lead to weight gain and eventually obesity. Obesity increases pain and inflammation in the body, which causes stress.

Being obese can lead to social isolation, low self-esteem, loneliness and frustration. He who is obese will be ridiculed for his weight. Additionally, body shame due to being overweight can also negatively affect mental well-being. We will be aware of our body image and we will feel helpless. It can also cause depression in these people. Obese people tend to experience anxiety about being judged for their appearance and are unhappy with their appearance.

If a person is overweight, they may feel frustrated, angry, or upset. Being aware of difficult emotions is the first step to managing them. Recognizing emotions takes practice. Sometimes they can be so sudden and powerful that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what you’re feeling.

Numerous studies have demonstrated a positive association between obesity and various mental health problems, including depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and substance abuse.

Obesity impacts the quality of life of individuals, with many people suffering from increased stigma and discrimination due to their weight.

Dealing with Obesity Tactfully as Shared by Expert
For an overweight or obese person, mental health issues can be a barrier to adopting healthy lifestyle habits. Mental illness is the main indication for bariatric surgery. The good news is that even modest weight loss can improve or prevent health problems associated with obesity.

If the patient is at a lower BMI stage, counseling along with dietary changes, a good night’s sleep, increased physical activity, and behavioral changes can help with weight loss. But, if the BMI is over 30 and there are mental effects of obesity, bariatric surgery with counseling has shown outstanding results in patients who have now gone ahead and shown how how productive they can be for the world, the economy and themselves. Staying stress-free by doing yoga and meditation can also be helpful.


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