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Psychological Effects of Obesity

Being severely obese has serious psychological and social repercussions. Many people who are overweight are subject to disapproval, even lectures, from family and friends and to sneers and remarks from strangers. Such behavior is propagated by the general societal belief that obesity is caused by a lack of self-discipline or moral weakness. These attitudes carry over into the work world, where a job or a promotion is often denied simply because of how much one weighs. Not surprising, many obese people prefer not to go out in public because they feel selfconscious or they simply cannot enjoy activities that most people take for granted, like going to the movies, taking the subway, or going on vacation - because the seats are too small, the turnstiles are too narrow, or the accommodations are too uncomfortable. All these experiences, repeated day after day for years, can lead to depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem. In one study, severely obese persons were asked to choose between being obese or having some other infirmity. The results were astounding. By and large, the respondents said that they would rather be blind or have one leg amputated than be at their present weight. Most interestingly, everyone said they would rather be poor and thin than rich and overweight. A 1991 study showed that 80 percent of severely obese people:
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perceive themselves as physically unattractive believe that others make disparaging comments about their weight dislike being seen in public feel discrimination when applying for jobs feel that they are treated disrespectfully by their physician

Indeed, several studies suggest that many physicians do treat obese patients disrespectfully. In a 1969 survey of physicians, obese patients were described as "weak-willed," "ugly," "awkward," and "self-indulgent." In a more recent physician survey, one of three doctors said they respond negatively to obesity, behind three other diagnostic/social categories: drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness. A comparable study found that two-thirds of doctors believe obese patients lack self-control, and 39 percent feel they are lazy. Two studies of nurses showed similar results. The truth of the matter is that morbid obesity is a chronic medical illness, although a good portion of society and the health-care establishment does not seem to agree. At NYU, we strive to educate the professionals and laypeople alike of the seriousness of this disease and the need to change the way it is viewed and treated.

the effects of obesity on physical health are. Obesity Side Effects and Social Stigma A long history of mocking and discriminating against the obese runs through many cultures. Low self-esteem is common among the severely obese. Obesity side effects include:            Angina (chest pain) Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) Cancer Diabetes Heart attack High blood pressure Joint pain Metabolic syndrome Mobility impairment Osteoarthritis Stroke. The mental effects of obesity have not been studied as extensively as physical obesity side effects.000 premature deaths a year in the United States alone. Social attitudes on obesity range from avoidance to outright discrimination and bullying. Evidence suggests. Obesity Health Effects The effects of obesity on physical health are well documented. Rates of depression and anxiety appear to be higher. Obesity health effects range from backaches and joint pain to life-threatening conditions. effects of this condition can last a lifetime.The Effects of Obesity The effects of obesity extend far beyond physical weight and related health problems. and that obesity is a sign of low willpower. as compared to those with a healthy weight. Many people assume the obese are to blame for their condition. many and varied. Obesity side effects can include a greater risk of mental health problems and low self-esteem. For those suffering from childhood obesity. a Swedish study found that severely obese people are three to four times more likely to exhibit symptoms of anxiety and depression. . Mental Health Effects of Obesity Obesity side effects can include mental health disorders. however. The following is a list of health conditions attributed to obesity. This list is by no means exhaustive. overindulgence or slovenliness. that being obese negatively affects mental health. The Stanford Hospital (2010) reports obesity causes up to 300. unfortunately.

hip. back. children aged 6 to 11 are now obese. Gallstones are common in overweight and obese persons. Overweight adolescents have a greatly increased risk of dying from heart disease in .org/obesity/obesity14/obesity14. 2010. College admission.Obese people may have fewer social and romantic relationships compared to the non-obese. Childhood obesity effects include a heightened risk of early-onset hypertension and heart disease. Obesity increases cardiovascular disease risk because of its effect on blood lipid levels.htm. An alarming number of children are obese and developing diseases normally seen in adulthood. Resources Marcus. Obesity is associated with more than thirty medical conditions and scientific evidence has established a strong relationship with at least fifteen of those conditions. Almost 20 percent of U. obese children and teens report lower levels of self-esteem than their non-obese counterparts. Retrieved June 2. It is strongly associated with cancer of the esophagus. Obesity is the most common factor of nonalcoholic steatophepatitis. childhood obesity rates have tripled since the 1980s. and another 15 percent are at risk for being overweight. a major cause of liver disease. Childhood obesity is a growing concern in today's world. mock or even abuse the obese. it is important to understand the health effects of obesity. (2002). Even more concerning is that approximately 15 percent of children and adolescents are overweight. Obesity is a major risk factor for heart attack. Childhood Obesity Effects According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010). and knees. Although long-term effects of childhood obesity on self-esteem and relationships continue to be studied. M. While it may not be generally acceptable to discriminate based on gender. Socially.S. compared to just 4 percent a few decades ago. childhood obesity effects include an increased risk of bullying and teasing. careers and earning power may be negatively affected by weight. These are just some examples of how obesity negatively affects the health of a person. Obesity decreases the body’s resistance to harmful organisms. Obese women have three to four times the risk of endometrial cancer than women with lower BMI. particularly for obese women. many people continue to ridicule. Effects of obesity – What are the dangers in being obese? If you are overweight.1        Obesity is associated with the development of osteoarthritis of the hand. N. from http://www. heart disease and diabetes as adults. and an increased risk of problems such as stroke.endotext. Mocan. Effects of obesity on the quality of life. religion or ethnicity. Obesity increases the risk of breast cancer in men and women.

Weighing too much may increase your risk for developing many health problems. their bodies store the extra calories as fat. But now that food is available 24/7 in most industrialized countries. this was a real advantage. Even our youngest citizens are at risk. Eventually. high cholesterol. Some people have a genetic tendency to gain weight more easily than others because they burn calories more slowly. like high blood pressure. If your body mass index (BMI) indicates that you are overweight or obese. you may be at risk for many of obesity's health effects. But when people keep up a pattern of eating more calories than they burn. more and more fat builds up in their bodies. Experts are calling this an "obesity epidemic. So younger people are now developing health problems that used to affect only adults. the body gets to a point where the amount of body fat can have a negative effect on a person's health. an efficient metabolism that once ensured our survival now works to our disadvantage. A couple of pounds of extra body fat are not a health risk for most people. As you've probably heard. These include:              Type 2 diabetes Heart disease Stroke High blood pressure (hypertension) High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) Certain cancers Sleep apnea Osteoarthritis Gallbladder disease and gallstones Fatty liver disease (also called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH) Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) Gout Psychological and emotional effects. and type 2 diabetes. more people are overweight today than ever before. Why Do People Become Overweight? Obesity tends to run in families. About 10 percent of preschoolers weigh more than is healthy for them.adulthood. Defining Overweight When people eat more calories than they burn off." This health problem affects young people as well as adults — one third of all kids between the ages of 2 and 19 are overweight or obese. During times when food was scarce. . Doctors use the terms "overweight" or "obese" to describe when someone is at greatest risk of developing weight-related health problems.

That's because teens are still growing and developing. After calculating BMI. Doctors and other health care professionals often use a measurement called body mass index (BMI) to determine if someone is overweight. When this happens. sleep apnea can leave people feeling tired and affect their ability to concentrate and learn. a doctor will plot the result on a BMI growth chart. anxious. or even bored. Sleep apnea. The health problems that affect overweight teens include:       Blount disease. Arthritis. bigger portions of food. and less-active lifestyles are all contributing to the obesity epidemic. When blood pressure is high. A BMI number that is equal to or greater than the 85th percentile line but less than the 95th is considered overweight. such as when they feel upset. or just walk from class to class. low-nutrient snacks and beverages. Obese children and teens are at greater risk for this painful hip problem. Obesity is associated with breathing problems that can make it harder to keep up with friends. Not only does it interrupt sleep. It also may lead to heart problems. the heart must pump harder and the arteries must carry blood that's moving under greater pressure. Measuring Weight Figuring out if a teen is overweight can be more complicated than it is for adults. Excess weight on growing bones can lead to this bone deformity of the lower legs. stressed out. sad.Although genes strongly influence body type and size. Health Problems of Being Overweight Obesity is bad news for both body and mind. the environment also plays a role. High blood pressure. carrying extra weight puts added stress on the body. especially the bones and joints of the legs. Not only can it make someone feel tired and uncomfortable. SCFE requires immediate attention and surgery to prevent further damage to the joint. A BMI at or above the "95th percentile" line on the chart is considered in the obese range. Sometimes people turn to food for emotional reasons. As they get older. kids and teens who are overweight are more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease. they often eat more than they need. People today may be gaining weight because of unhealthy food choices (like fast food) and family habits (like eating in front of the television instead of around a table). Slipped capital femoral epiphyses (SCFE). If the problem continues for . This condition (where a person temporarily stops breathing during sleep) is a serious problem for many overweight kids and adults. Asthma. High-calorie. play sports. Wear and tear on the joints from carrying extra weight can cause this painful joint problem at a young age.

is more common in overweight or obese teens. Luckily. Pseudotumor cerebri. too much can interfere with normal ovulation and can cause excess hair growth. low HDL ("good") cholesterol. PCOS is associated with insulin resistance. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In addition to headaches. Depression. People who are obese are more likely to be depressed and have lower selfesteem. insulin resistance may progress to diabetes (high blood sugar). or hypertension. More insulin becomes needed to maintain a normal blood sugar. high blood pressure. unsteady walking. and get more exercise. the body's main source of energy. These may be painful and require surgery. even if it's just 5-10 minutes a day. including high cholesterol. Overweight women also might have fertility problems. Fatty liver.       a long time. Insulin resistance and diabetes. An accumulation of bile that hardens in the gallbladder forms gallstones. and vision problems that might become permanent if not treated. For some overweight teens. and permanent liver damage. but pressure builds in the brain. There is no tumor. and male-type baldness. it can cause inflammation. Although it's normal for girls to have some testosterone in their blood. Although rare in most teens. the heart and arteries may no longer work as well as they should. into cells. High cholesterol. When fat accumulates in the liver. scarring. worsening acne. symptoms may include vomiting. Gallstones. and high triglyceride levels. a precursor to developing type 2 diabetes. This is a rare cause of severe headaches in obese teens and adults. obese teens may have abnormal blood lipid levels. insulin is less effective at getting glucose. it's never too late to make changes that can effectively control weight and the health problems it causes. For a start. Girls who are overweight may miss periods — or not get their periods at all — and might have elevated testosterone (the male hormone) levels in the blood. Long before getting sick. make a plan to cut back on sugary beverages. Those changes don't have to be big. Build your way up to big changes by making a series of small ones. And don't be afraid to ask for help! . pass up on seconds. When there is excess body fat. These increase the risk of heart attack and stroke when a person gets older.

The second category includes the metabolic factors associated with distant effects of products released from enlarged fat cells. For cancer. The increased secretion of prothrombin activator inhibitor-1 from fat cells may play a role in the procoagulant state of obesity and. hypertension. These effects of obesity result from two factors: the increased mass of adipose tissue and the increased secretion of pathogenetic products from enlarged fat cells. In the former category are the social disabilities resulting from the stigma associated with obesity. . diabetes develops. from the fat cell may stimulate the proinflammatory state that characterizes obesity. especially visceral fat.Obesity is an epidemic disease that threatens to inundate health care resources by increasing the incidence of diabetes. The combined effect of these pathogenetic consequences of increased fat stores is an increased risk of shortened life expectancy. heart disease. Increased cytokine release may play a role in other forms of proliferative growth. The release of cytokines. The strong association of increased fat. along with changes in endothelial function. and osteoarthritis resulting from the wear and tear on joints from carrying an increased mass of fat. sleep apnea that results in part from increased parapharyngeal fat deposits. the production of estrogens by the enlarged stromal mass plays a role in the risk for breast cancer. particularly IL-6. This concept of the pathogenesis of obesity as a disease allows an easy division of disadvantages of obesity into those produced by the mass of fat and those produced by the metabolic effects of fat cells. may be responsible for the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and hypertension. with diabetes makes this consequence particularly ominous for health care costs. and cancer. When the secretory capacity of the pancreas is overwhelmed by battling insulin resistance. The insulin-resistant state that is so common in obesity probably reflects the effects of increased release of fatty acids from fat cells that are then stored in the liver or muscle.