Obesity and the Effects

Essay by silvajai October 2006

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Obesity and the physiological effects

In today's society, there is a negative social stigma concerning obesity. In addition to the obvious health risks associated with obesity, depression and other psychological issues often arise. At alarming rates, a growing number of adults and children are struggling with obesity. Obesity has a definite impact on physical, mental, and social well being of any individual. The quality of life for obese individuals varies but most obese individuals have a direct linkage between obesity and poor quality of life.

Gender has an effect on the relationship between depression and obesity. In a study that utilized a structured interview to diagnose major depression in a large sample of adults, obese women were likelier than non-obese women to have had a major depressive episode during the previous year. Similarly obese women, when compared to non-obese women, were likelier to report suicidal ideation and attempts. In contrast, obese men, when compared to non-obese men had a reduced risk of depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts.

(EFFECTS OF OBESITY ON THE QUALITY OF LIFE, Chapter 14 - Marsha D Marcus, PhD, October 24, 2002)

Binge eating and depression may contribute to weight gain and obesity, which, in turn, may negatively affect mood. Depression also may be associated with decreases in physical activity, which may increase obesity risk. This sense of loss of control over eating behavior is common among obese individuals. Prejudicial attitudes toward obese individuals extend to discriminatory behaviors against them. Specifically, there appears to be a prejudice against hiring obese individuals as well as pay discrimination against overweight women.

There has been concern that dieting to lose weight (as opposed to actual weight loss) may be harmful to psychological well-being since dieting is often unsuccessful and may have negative consequences for self-evaluation. Bar iatric, surgery patients...