Psychological Effect of Obesity

At present times, the number of persons suffering from obesity, which ranges from children to adult, is soaring. With the effects on individual lives and as well as to the society, it is now considered as chronic disease.

Starting as early as three years of age, obesity is a disease acquired from being overweight. Factors causing this disease are associated with unbalanced and unhealthy food intake, stress, and unfavorable lifestyle. Obesity posed danger to one’s health as it brings about other diseases such as dyslipidemia, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, kidney failure, and more. Not only on physical aspect does an obese person suffer from, but also on psychological aspect, which is more dangerous, especially to children and teens.

Among the psychological effect of obesity is insecurity. Compare to normal body size, obese experiences insecurity because of being different on the physical appearance. They caught attention of other people who usually give them insulting gazes, and worst, made them a laughing stock, and a butt of jokes.  The reaction of other people gives them the feeling of being unaccepted by the society. The reality shouts that they won’t be accepted no matter how good they are on other aspect.

Another effect is stress. Study shows that stress is one of the major caused of this disease. It slows down the metabolism of the body, thereby, caused the food intake to be dissolved slowly. Usually, stress caused greater amount of food intake, and with slower metabolic rate, fats retention occurs. Fats, which is very hard to dissolved, are absorbed by the body and stays on areas like arms, neck, stomach, and thighs. These effect lead to a more unhealthy and excessive habit of eating, commonly called as bulimia.


Moreover, anxiety on obese person became common. Fear and uneasiness are usually experienced. It is associated with higher degree of fear are usually created by unidentified factors.

Furthermore, social isolation and marginalization are common. Obese people were significantly less likely to be selected as friends, and worst, receive no friendship nominations at all. Likewise, girls are often socially marginalized compared to boys.


Psychological impacts of obesity on children and adult are associated with their experiences on the reactions of the society regarding their physical appearances. It is common for obese people to experience being the butt of jokes, bullying, teasing, name calling, and physical harm. Likewise, they are the usual target of rumors and lies in schools and work place. Rejection from the social peers and friendship withdrawals has an adverse effect on their lives. These impacts resulted to a more unhealthy behavior of obese people.   Adolescents have reported higher levels of emotional distress exhibited in poor self-image, aggressive behaviors, suicide, promiscuity, drug, and alcohol and tobacco addiction. They displayed more unhealthy behaviors such as binge eating, or extreme dieting, skipping meals, and prolonged TV watching.


Studies were conducted on the psychological impact of obesity both short and long term. The short term effects include low self-esteem, anxiety, and social isolation. Children who suffers from these may grow up introvert and withdrawn. For teens, poor school performance, insecurities, and suicidal thoughts on the issue are more common.   Adults, who are obese since childhood, may have a lower educational attainment and lower rate of marriage. They also exhibited poor performance on their workplace.


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