Depression Linked to Obesity and Poor Health

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Depression Linked to Obesity and Poor Health

the overwhelming feeling of being obese could also affect the mental health of the person/ Photo By SeventyFour via Shutterstock


Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on the person’s overall health. It is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food intake, lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility. Also, excessive body weight is associated with various diseases and conditions, particularly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus 2, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer and asthma.

The overwhelming feeling of being obese could also affect the mental health of the person. Science Daily posted on their website that the recent study from the University of South Australia showed that obesity and depression are somehow tied up with each other. Scientists also found out that depression due to obesity also happened even though the person is completely healthy.

Pulse Today also shared on their article that the study was conducted with the participation of 48,000 people who are diagnosed with depression and the findings were compared to 290,000 people who don’t have any mental health problem. There are also recent studies which showed that many cases of obesity are the result of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and eating syndrome.

Depression and immune system

Childhood obesity, for instance, leads to painful ridicule and exclusion from peer activities. Problems with body image, social isolation and self-esteem might easily follow. Coping with the emotional trauma that the child experienced when they are obese could have different results for different people, some might consider it to be their motivation, while others will hole up with the bad experience they have and will have a hard time moving on.

Depression could have a huge impact on somebody’s life. Having this mental illness is like carrying the weight of the world and its shadow at the same time. It mainly affects the individual’s disposition in life and how they view their future, but studies showed that it also has an effect on the physical health of the person.

In a report by Daily Texan Online, they mentioned that while scientists tried to identify the connection between the psychological health and its effect on the overall health of the human body. The study was led by Dr. Marisa Toups and her research associate Alyssa Marron. They observed that one specific cell protein that links depression with reduced immune functioning is called cytokines and this protein is responsible for activating the inflammation which protects the damaged part of the body.

obesity is widely considered to be one of the most serious public health problems/ Photo By India Picture via Shutterstock


Obesity and body image

Body image encompasses many different factors and includes how the person feels when they see their own body in front of the mirror. Many people of all ages, genders, and cultures may struggle with their body image and they could have a negative perception of their own body and appearance, and the increased number of platforms available due to the advancements in technology is also becoming a factor in the growing number of negative body image around the world.

Meanwhile, obesity is widely considered to be one of the most serious public health problems of recent times, not only increase health care costs and risk of illness but also burdening individuals with obesity with severe psychological consequences. Obese people have been found several times to have higher rates of depression since it could trigger psychological disorders such as depression, eating disorders, distorted body image, and low self-esteem.

Other researches also showed that there is an increase in depressive symptoms in very obese people. Clinical depression is three to four times higher in severely obese individuals than in similar non-obese individuals. “Depression on a level indicating psychiatric morbidity was more often seen in the obese,” said Professor Marianne Sullivan and her team from Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden.

Maintaining a healthy body image

Creating a positive body image starts with how people relate to themselves. It requires self-esteem, a positive attitude, and emotional stability. Although, maintaining a healthy body image is a challenge because this generation is filled with images of celebrities who are trying to look like “perfect” bodies.

Poor body image is an issue that many people are struggling with. Even if people fill their bookshelves with a lot of self-help books, it won’t still be effective if the person doesn’t have enough confidence and courage to defeat the overwhelming feeling of their own body image.

A positive attitude comes from being self-accepting of the strengths a person has. Negative attitudes that tend to directly impact body image are perfectionism, comparing and being highly critical or judgmental.

Also, confidence is a very important part of maintaining a healthy body image. People should focus on the good features that they have rather than focusing on their least like part of the body. Having exposed to offending media that promotes impossible standards of beauty also affects the person’s way of thinking when it comes to their body image.



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