impact of obesity on mental health

The Impact of obesity on mental health | Find solution

Obesity is a widespread and dangerous disease that affects about half of all adults in Pakistan. Obesity can put someone at risk for various medical ailments, including:

o Type 2 diabetes
o Heart failure
o Stroke
o A few types of cancer

It can also put people at a higher risk of serious problems if they have COVID-19, a coronavirus-related condition. Obesity is connected to an increased risk of mental health illnesses in addition to physical health issues. You may take steps if you are overweight or obese to help your physical and mental health.

impact of obesity on mental health
impact of obesity on mental health

How can you know if you’re obese?

The BMI or body mass index is a way of determining whether or not your weight is healthy. It includes multiplying your kilograms weight by your meter height. Use the ALSA Pakistan BMI calculator to find out your BMI. The resulting number (your BMI) reveals which of the following categories you belong to:

  • Underweight: BMI less than 18.5
  • Healthy weight: BMI 18.5 – 24.9
  • Overweight: BMI 25.0 – 29.9
  • Obese: BMI greater than 30.0

Your body weight is greater than it should be based on your height if your BMI falls into the overweight or obese categories. Having a BMI higher than the healthy range puts you at a higher risk of developing health concerns. While being overweight raises the risk of developing health problems, being obese is far more harmful. And being overweight or obese can have a negative impact of obesity on mental health in addition to your physical health.

What is the impact of obesity on mental health?

Obesity has been associated with mood and anxiety issues in several studies. This means that if you’re overweight, you’re more prone to develop a mental illness like depression or anxiety.
You could be asking if obesity causes mental health issues or if mental health issues cause obesity. The extent of the link between obesity and mental health varies from person to person. For example, emotional distress might lead to overeating in some people. However, food can also be used to deal with stress, leading to obesity and excessive weight gain.
For others, the impact of obesity on mental health may cause emotional distress. Being overweight can make a person feel bad about themselves. People who are overweight may face discrimination or stigma from others. These events might have a negative impact on one’s self-esteem. Obese people may find it difficult to engage in positive activities, making it more difficult to cope with unpleasant feelings. Impact of obesity on mental health is also associated with having more physical health issues and suffering, leading to increased stress.

impact of obesity on mental health

What mental health issues link with obesity?

The impact of obesity on mental health has been linked to an increased risk of mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.

  • Anxiety

Anxiety is a mental health condition characterized by excessive worry. Obese people are most likely to experience anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and social anxiety. Here’s a quick rundown of the three disorders:

• Excessive worry over numerous aspects of a person’s life is a symptom of generalized anxiety.
• When a person’s anxiety is primarily focused on social interactions with other people, they have a social anxiety disorder.
• The panic disorder frequently coexists with other anxiety disorders. Panic attacks are episodes of extreme anxiety that include chest

discomfort, dizziness, and shortness of breath in people with panic disorder.
It’s unclear why persons who are overweight are more likely to suffer from anxiety. One explanation is that their worry stems from the problems that fat persons confront, such as:

o Increased social stigma
o Judgment
o Problems with your health
o Self-esteem issues

Some scientists believe there is a scientific reason for the link between worry and obesity. Anxiety is connected to increased activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis of the brain. This HPA axis plays a role in digestion and emotional control, among other things. It can cause an increase in hunger when it isn’t working properly, leading to weight gain and obesity.
Obesity and anxiety have several risk factors, such as a history of childhood abuse and personality features such as neuroticism, sensitivity to criticism, and a desire to avoid stress.

  • Depression

Sadness, loss of interest in activities or interests, and poor feelings about oneself are all symptoms of depression. Weight gain and increased appetite are also common depression symptoms, putting sad people at risk of becoming obese. Adolescent females have the strongest correlation between fat and depression.
Some studies on the link between depression and obesity have shown that depression can sometimes lead to obesity. Food may be used to cope with the negative feelings in those who already have depression, leading to excessive weight gain over time.
Depressed feelings can also lead to a lack of energy and enthusiasm to engage in physical activity, leading to weight gain. In addition, the stress of managing obesity and its effects on one’s life can lead to unpleasant feelings, converting into depression in persons who already have it.

  • Bipolar Disorder

One type of mood disorder is bipolar disorder, which includes both manic and depressed phases. A person has an elevated or irritated mood for at least one week during a manic episode. Other signs and symptoms include:

o Exaggerated self-confidence in one’s abilities or importance
o Increased energy that makes it difficult to sleep
o Thoughts that race
o Impulsive actions

There is no established cause of the association between bipolar disorder and obesity. However, people with bipolar disorder, like those with other mental illnesses, may turn to eating as a coping mechanism.
Another possibility is that certain mood stabilizers and drugs used to treat bipolar disorder can have unfavorable effects such as increased hunger and weight gain. As a result, people who take these medications for a long time are more likely to become obese.
Obesity along with bipolar disorder is problematic because it has been linked to:

o An increase in manic and depressed episodes
o More severe depression
o Suicidal thought is a type of suicidal behavior.
o Treatment resistance

Tips for improving your mental health

The relationship between your weight and your physical and mental health is important. However, you can improve these aspects of your life by making certain modifications.

Obesity and mental health problems are frequently experienced simultaneously. Obesity may contribute to the development of certain mental health diseases in some persons, while mental health issues lead to weight gain and obesity in others. Fortunately, you can take some steps to enhance your health and lose weight while also improving your mental health.

impact of obesity on mental health
impact of obesity on mental health
  • What’s the impact of bariatric surgery on mental health?

    Obesity is linked to a higher prevalence of psychopathological disorders, which can have a major damaging influence on one’s quality of life. Although bariatric surgery is an effective option for morbidly obese people who want to lose weight and improve their physical comorbidities, its effects on mental health are also very effective. However, many researchers found that mental health also improves following bariatric surgery.

    The majority of mental health gain through bariatric surgery is likely attributed to:

    • Weight loss
    • Resulting gains in body image
    • Self-esteem
    • Self-concept
    • However, other important contributing factors to postoperative mental health include a patient’s sense of taking control of their life and support from health care staff.


Multiple studies have shown a positive association between obesity and various mental health issues, including depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and substance abuse. The impact of obesity on mental health affects persons’ quality of life, with many sufferers experiencing increased stigma and hatred because of their weight. The mental health associations of bariatric surgery are beneficial. Body image and depressive symptoms often improve with bariatric surgery. ALSA Pakistan addresses both obesity and mental health at different levels. To ensure that the treatment yields positive results, our expert surgeons identify the primary cause of obesity. We at ALSA Pakistan are here to accompany you on your journey back to a happy, healthy, and stress-free life.