Psychological Causes of Obesity: How it Can Affect Your Life

Sonali Kapoor

, Health A2Z


Obesity is a condition/ disorder, in which there is a change in your physiological form due to an increase in weight, and it also invites many other diseases in your body. This is such a disease that every person is battling nowadays. Medical science also recognizes that obesity is the cause of many diseases. By the way, obesity is also genetic, but there are many other reasons, such as – the wrong habit of eating. Let us know what is obesity, what are the physiological causes of obesity and how it can be avoided.


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Define Obesity


Obesity is a disorder which is involving excessive body fat that increases the risk of many health problems such as diabetes, cholesterol, heart problems, sleep apnea, etc. If this disorder is not controlled on time then it creates a major problem for you and your body.



What are the Psychological Causes of Obesity?


1. Genetics



In this case, it happens when your parents are obese. Genetics affect hormones involved in fat regulation. For example, there is one genetic cause of obesity is leptin deficiency. Leptin is a hormone produced in fat cells and in the placenta.


Usually, leptin controls weight by signaling the brain to eat less when body fat stores are too high. The body cannot produce enough leptin or leptin cannot signal the brain to eat less, this control is lost, and obesity occurs. The role of leptin replacement as a treatment for obesity is under exploration.




2. Overeating



Overeating of any food leads to weight gain, especially if the diet is high in fat. Foods that are high in fat or sugar (for example, fast food, fried food, and sweets) have high energy density (foods that have a lot of calories in a small amount of food). According to the epidemiologic studies have shown that diets high in fat contribute to weight gain.




3. Frequency of Eating



The connection between the frequency of eating and weight is somewhat controversial. There are some reports of overweight people eating less often than people with normal weight. As the scientists have observed that people who eat small meals 4 or 5 times daily have lower cholesterol levels and lower and/or more stable blood sugar levels than people who eat less frequently (2 or 3 large meals daily). There is one possible explanation is that small frequent meals produce stable insulin levels, whereas large meals cause large spikes of insulin after meals.




4. Physical Inactivity



Sedentary people burn fewer calories than people who are more active. According to The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed a strong correlation between physical inactivity and weight gain in both sexes.


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5. Psychological Factors



For some people, emotions influence eating habits. Many people eat unnecessarily in response to emotions like- boredom, sadness, stress, or anger. Although most overweight people have no more psychological disturbances than normal-weight people, about 20%-30% of the people who seek treatment for serious weight problems have difficulties with binge eating.




6. Social Issues



There is a link between social issues and obesity. Shortage of money to purchase healthy foods or lack of safe places to walk or exercise can increase the risk of obesity.




What Foods Cause Obesity?



For example, unhealthy food choices could be: eating processed or fast food high in fat. not eating fruit, vegetables and unrefined carbohydrates, such as wholemeal bread and brown rice. drinking too much alcohol – alcohol contains a lot of calories, and heavy drinkers are often overweight.




How Do We Prevent Obesity?



  • Consume less fatty foods


  • Less of sugary items



  • Eat plenty of dietary fibers


  • Do regular exercises, yoga, etc.


  • Focus on reducing stress






Obesity does not only affect your physical health but it can affect you mentally as well.  There are so many causes of obesity and Psychological causes of obesity are one of them. So, If you or anyone else around you feel that he/she is dealing with the obesity then you should consult your doctor to get rid of it.


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