Obesity and Mental Health

Topics: Obesity, Nutrition, Hypertension Pages: 2 (544 words) Published: July 22, 2013
Effects of Obesity on Mental Health
Risks of Being Overweight
Walter Taylor
Community College of Vermont


In America, over 35% of all adults are obese. Though obesity rates in Vermont are among the lowest in the country (25%), the current obesity epidemic is still alarming ("Adult obesity facts," 2012). Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are all directly linked to obesity. While the physical effects of obesity have been researched extensively, the mental health effects still aren’t entirely known. Obesity debates claim that though food addiction is very much a real thing, it is not a mental illness though it may lead to other mental illnesses such as depression, insomnia, low self-esteem, and eating disorders (Marcus & Baron; Simmonds).

("Adult obesity facts," 2012).
One of the biggest problems with obesity is an increase in cortisol levels. Increased cortisol levels are also linked with MDD (Manic-Depressive Disorder). The increased levels also lead to sleep deprivation (Devlin). For many obese people, obesity is a result of an addiction to food. The hours that would be spent sleeping may instead be spent eating. Having more time to eat causes more weight gain which further increases cortisol levels which continues to deprive the body of sleep. Unless this insomnia can be fixed or eating kept to a minimal, this issue will never be able to be fixed. It’s a never-ending cycle.

It’s very common for men and women to go on diets when they’re overweight or obese. Instead of committing to a lifestyle change and eating healthier, they just want a quick fix. Unfortunately, most diets include doing things to the extreme. For example, instead of just limiting cholesterol, fat, sugars, carbohydrates, and proteins, many people attempt to eliminate it from their diets altogether. However, the body needs all of these things in moderation in order to work right. “Research has found that...

References: Adult obesity facts. (2012, August 13). Retrieved on July 14, 2013 from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html
Collingwood, J. (2007). Obesity and Mental Health. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 14, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/obesity-and-mental-health/000895
Devlin, M. J. (n.d.). Retrieved on July 14, 2013, from http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=174152
English, C. (2013, May 22). Is the american diet causing mental disorders?. Retrieved on July 14, 2013, from http://www.policymic.com/articles/45033/obesity-crisis-2013-is-the-american-diet-causing-mental-disorders
Marcus, L., & Baron, A. (n.d.). Retrieved on July 14, 2013, from http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/childhood_obesity_effects_physical_mental_health
Reporter, D. M. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2319825/The-great-global-food-gap-Families-world-photographed-weekly-shopping-reveal-cost-ranges-3-20-320.html
Simmonds, D. (n.d.). Retrieved on July 14, 2013, from http://web.ebscohost.com.hrt-proxy.libraries.vsc.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=e536da10-a038-4e19-92e4-5d38a34f7b40@sessionmgr111&vid=2&hid=117
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