Can Emotional Problems Lead To Obesity?


Obesity is one of the key problems that the global population is facing. It has many causal factors one of which is unresolved emotional problems. People often think that obesity is a result of overeating and sedentary lifestyle while they ignore the fact that emotional issues give fire to the fuel of obesity. However, it is a fact that emotional problems and obesity are correlated.

Multiple types of research have proven that emotional problems can lead to obesity. Here are some of the research findings which show how the two are related.

  • We Consume Food to Feel Better:

The people who are sad or forlorn they think that food consumption can make them happy. According to Dr. Philip Ballard, images of food make people happy and they associate their happiness with consuming that food. This way whenever they feel low, they just go out and have something ‘nice’ to eat which leads to putting on more weight.

  • Unresolved Emotional Issues Lead to Mindless Eating:

All of us have experienced mindless eating at one point or another. It refers to the phenomenon of eating without actually thinking about what we are consuming. This leads to more caloric intake than intended which in turn leads to obesity. Mindless eating episodes are more frequent in people who are emotionally unstable and are struggling with their mental health.

  • Depression Affects Metabolism:

A healthy metabolism is a key to having the food digested properly which helps in bodily activities. When the metabolism system is affected due to many factors, it leads to lesser and slower digestion. The consumed food stays inside your abdomen for a long while which triggers obesity and disturbs our eating patterns. During the depression, there is an overall lack of activity which slows down metabolism. This then results in a greater weight gain.

  • Emotional Eating:

Food is considered more than just a nutrition provider and people consume it to feel elated as well. The emotion-related conditions like anger, stress, loneliness, frustration, low mood and anxiety trigger an urge for food. This emotional eating is a maladaptive coping mechanism which does more harm than good. The food bloggers on Instagram and other sites make people believe that food is the only best thing that can happen in their life to make them happy. Most people fall for it and resort to emotional eating which comes with many issues including obesity.

  • Mood and Obesity:

Mood swings and obesity are closely related as well. Research has proven that people crave different kinds of food items in different moods. Sometimes there is a greater urge for fatty and cheesy stuff while at other times an urge for protein-rich foods. Most of the times there are mood swings demanding carbohydrates which speed up weight gain at an alarming rate. This is another malpractice brought about by emotional problems which take you closer to obesity and away from a healthy lifestyle.

  • Confused Emotions and Hunger:

A confused emotional state leads to obesity as well since when we are confused, we try looking for things that are familiar. Food has been a solution to many problems since our childhood and we are always sure about the taste and feel of the food that we consume. So, people go to binge eating or go for comfort foods since they do not have much else to keep them grounded. Chocolates and candies are something that we associated happiness and joy with even in our childhood. So, on getting confused or feeling forlorn we find the endorphin-rich chocolates our best remedy. Excessive intake of such comfort foods and chocolates, in turn, stimulates obesity.

  • Binge Eating and Purging Habits:

People who have a negative body image and low esteem are known for binge eating during their depressive episodes. When they realize that they have binge eating, they go for induced purgation which disturbs metabolism and natural digestion. This too then leads to obesity which keeps getting out of hand with time.

So, emotional problems and mental distress lead to obesity and should be alleviated to ensure a healthy lifestyle. Just be mindful of what you feel and how to act according to this to avoid getting obese.


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