The Mental Weight of Obesity

Are obesity and mental health connected? Does your body weight puts burden on emotional and mental health also? What are the psychological aspects of obesity? If you are looking for the answer of such questions; then you are at the the right webpage. The disease of obesity is associated with a significant mental and emotional burden. Obesity invites mental health issues also along with the heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney and liver problems, and sleep apnea.

What is Obesity?

Obesity is a complex disease involving an abnormal or excessive amount of body fat accumulation that may impair health. Body mass index (BMI) is often used to diagnose obesity. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height. It involves dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters. You can determine your BMI by clicking hereWHO defines BMI greater than or equal to 30 as obesity. BMI greater than or equal to 25 is defined as overweight.


A person’s waist circumference also help to identify obese condition. Men with a waist circumference over 40 inches (102 centimeters) and women with a waist measurement over 35 inches (89 centimeters) comes under obese category. Weight-related health problems are more common with such physic people.

Obesity Fact Sheet

  • Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975.
  • In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 650 million were obese.
  • 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese.
  • Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
  • 39 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2020.
  • Over 340 million children and adolescents aged 5-19 were overweight or obese in 2016.
  • 8% of global deaths are the result of obesity.

Mental Health and Obesity Connection

Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. Excessive pounds (obesity) do more than increasing one’s weight.  Obesity increases risk of major physical health problems like heart diseases, type 2 diabetes (hyperglycemia), hypertension, chronic back pain, OSAS and some cancers.

Apart from the mechanical stress of carrying extra pounds it also increases the mental stress. Obesity and mental health have connection. Almost 70-80% of obese patients have mental health issues. Obesity is linked to stress, poor self-esteem, eating disorders, anxiety and depression. This may also creates stigma and feeling of discriminations.

The Mental Weight of obesity leads to emotional distress. The physical appearance becomes an obstacle in self-love. Obesity creates negative feelings about one’s self. The psychosocial burden makes obese people introverts; they stay at home, and their productivity has also decreased. This leads to Social isolation, low self-esteem, loneliness, and frustration. The size and weight of the body makes an impact on the overall quality of  life. Adventure activities, fun events and long travels are some of things, which people with significant extra weight are not able to do. This creates a feeling of negativity in their mind.

Tips for weight loss and improving mental health

There is a strong connection between your weight and your physical and mental health. By making certain lifestyle changes, you can improve these areas of your life.

Count your calories

Remember that every calorie counts. You must be aware about what you are eating. Count calories of your meals you take throughout the day. Be aware of portion sizes and use smaller size of a bowls and plates.  Reduce snacks consumptions as it adds more calories in addition to your daily meal. So start keeping track of your daily calorie intake.

Eat healthy diet

Eating a healthy diet can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of health problems related to obesity. Eating a healthy diet also have a positive effect on your mental health. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter found in the body that regulates mood, sleep, and appetite; is produced in the gastrointestinal tract. This means that digestion and the foods you eat have an effect on serotonin production and therefore your mood.

A healthy balanced diet consists of:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Protein, including meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, and soya
  • Whole grains
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy
  • Oils and healthy fats
  • Limited processed foods, saturated and trans fats, sodium, and sugar

balanced diet chart

Mindful eating

Mindfulness meditation is the practice of being aware of the present moment. Mindful eating improves your awareness of your eating habits. This involves slowing down the eating process by increasing your awareness. One study of mindful eating found that it was linked to weight loss and decreased stress, depression, and binge eating. Paying attention to the sensory details of food is a simple way to start eating mindfully. You can practice mindful eating in a few simple steps:

  • Find a quiet space to eat that is free from distractions. Avoid using smart phones and watching TV while eating.
  • Start by taking a few deep and intentional breaths before your meal.
  • Tune into your senses by noticing what you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell.
  • Continue to notice your senses as you take a bite of food and slowly chew. Pay attention to color, aroma, texture, taste and smell.
  • Notice how hungry you feel as you eat.
  • Continue to eat mindfully and stop eating when you notice your hunger subside.


Exercise is an important activity for managing your weight and mental health. Regular exercise will help you lose weight and decrease your risk of heart attack, diabetes and high BP. Regular exercise can also improve your mental health by decreasing depression and anxiety.

Exercise increases blood circulation and depth of breathing, resulting in better oxygen supply and brain-organs communication. This impact your mood and stress response.

Gym Exercise

It is recommended to engage in at least 3 hours or 180 minutes of moderately intense exercise each week, which can be spread out over several days. For example, you can do 45 minutes of exercise 4 days per week or 30 minutes of exercise 6 days per week.

Get quality sleep

Staying up late affects sleep patterns. Sleep debt may increase calorie consumption. Missing one hour of sleep can make you hungrier the next day. This may result in poor diet quality and excessive body weight.


The relationship between lack of sleep and eating excessively is likely tied to hormonal functions in the body. Getting a good night’s rest promotes a healthy balance of hormones, including those that regulate appetite, digestion, and metabolism. So ensure to get quality sleep for your weight management.

Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is also known as weight loss surgery or metabolic surgery. This surgery is one the most effective treatment causing weight loss and reducing complications of obesity. This involve making changes to your digestive system to help you lose weight. Bariatric surgery is done when diet and exercise haven’t worked or when you have serious health problems because of your weight.

Over to You

I hope, if you will use above tips and strategies to deal with Obesity; you will surely be able to manage your weight in a better way and improve your overall mental well-being.

That’s all from my side. I hope, you liked this article on mental health. Please share this on your favorite social media portals with your friends and relatives.

(Disclaimer: This article is for general information only. Before adopting preventive methods /measures /treatment, please seek medical advice.)

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