How being obese affects a person psychologically.
Being obese can affect emotional health in several different ways and can be as damaging as physical injury. Some of the issues created by being obese include discrimination, low self-esteem and even thoughts of suicide. People often judge and discriminate against people who are overweight.
Obese people are seen as lazy and incapable of looking after themselves. It’s this kind of treatment from peers and society that creates anxiety and depression.
Obese people are less active because they are embarrassed of their shape and size. They don’t want to dress in a change room or be in a fitness class with other people who are in a lot better shape than they are. Lacking physical activity can cause depression and anxiety while being active can make you feel happy and forget about the depression.
The psychological effects of being obese are stronger in girls than they are in boys. This is because girls care more about their appearance. Body image affects their levels of achievement as well as their self-esteem.
A research project at the University of Texas showed that young obese girls are half as likely to go to college or university as young fit, slim girls. It was also discovered that young boys didn’t differ depending on their physical appearance. It also showed that young obese women are more likely to use drugs and alcohol than slimmer girls.
Being obese or maybe just not in shape can make people feel like crap. Some people can live with it better than others, but deep down inside of every obese person, there is a desire to be fit. Being obese can cause a lot of depression and can lead some people to eat even more if that’s what makes them feel happier. It’s these kinds of people who need help and support from family, friends and peers more than any other. Being embarrassed to go to the beach, to change in a dressing room, to work out at a gym or even just going down the street for a run is probably the biggest barrier to trying to lose weight. If some one has no motivation to do something, they’re not going to do it.
Being obsessed with self image can be a huge problem too. If your the kind of person who stares into the mirror and hates to see fat, even if it’s not a lot, then that can cause depression and can make you lose all confidence.
Sometimes obesity can make a person feel powerless. In movies or TV shows, where do you ever see an obese leading character, male or female? You will never watch an action thriller movie where the hero of the story is an obese man or women. These are the expectations for people in the real world and when some people fall short of the expectations, they feel like failures. To get over any doubts in a person’s mind, they have to make their own standards to keep motivation high and to make goals attainable. This will help decrease the amount of depression when goals are met.
Obesity is definitely an epidemic. Dramatic increases in overweight people as well as obesity among Canadians over the past 30 years have been deemed an epidemic. Eight years ago (2004), approximately 7 million Canadian adults were over weight and another four and a half million were obese. The World Health Organization (WHO) who refers to the increasing global epidemic as “globesity,” estimated that there are more than one billion overweight adults world-wide. At least three hundred million of those people are obese. The WHO which was put together in 1997 had this to say about the globesity epidemic:
Without societal changes, a substantial and steadily rising proportion of adults will succumb to the medical complications of obesity; indeed, the medical burden of obesity already threatens to overwhelm health services. The spectrum of problems seen in both developing and developed countries is having such a negative impact that obesity should be regarded as today’s principal neglected public health problem.”
In between 1970 and 1998, the amount of overweight adults increased from 40% to 50.7%. Media plays another huge roll in this as well. The media is not condoning obesity. In fact, they are quite the opposite. It’s the consumption of media that brings about obesity and overweight issues. Young people now a days have way more things to spend their time doing. Things such as TV, movies, and video games. The video game industry is bigger than it has ever been. Every year something new is coming out and that’s what kids are doing with all their time.
Another huge factor is how easy it is to get to a fast food restaurant. I don’t think I have ever been in a city where there was no McDonalds, Wendy’s or Burger King etc. Young people these days have a lot less responsibility too. Most kids don’t have a job until they’re 17 or 18. The more extra time people have the more they want to have fun. They want to go out and eat or stay home and play games. This is why younger people are getting more and more obese.
People are getting more and more heavy and people are slowly getting used to it. What we consider to be “in shape” would have been overweight 30 years ago.
Physical health is a choice except for a select few: those who have diseases or problems that they can’t control. Every one has the power to stop eating like a horse and start being more active! It’s your own fault if you don’t want to move a muscle and just eat crap all day. Parents have control over how their children eat too! There’s nothing that makes me say “What the heck!?” more than when I see a very obese person walking with their very obese child, who looks like he/she is around 7 or 8 years old, into a McDonalds or some kind of fattening, fast food restaurant. That person is just making there already unhealthy child even more unhealthy.
Do you have thoughts on this subject? Feel free to flood the comments with your opinions!