Obesity impacts an individual’s quality of life and has a positive links with various mental health issues like depression, eating disorders, anxiety and substance abuse. People with obesity experience increased social stigma and discrimination due to their weight. They are forced to undergo unrealistic weight loss programs, indulging in fad diets being the most common one which leads to unrealistic weight loss expectations which in turn leads to depression, suicide and substance abuse. The most common eating disorder in people with obesity is binge eating, but significant others indulge in eating for emotional reasons. Body image dissatisfaction is common among people with obesity and may result in seeking treatment. Futher there is increased risk of developing obesity in people with depression, especially among women. Active weight loss programs are associated with reduction in depressive symptoms.
It is important that healthcare workers taking care of people with obesity discuss and recognize their mental health problems and address them. Awareness of obesity as a medical issue, education of society starting with schools, and educating healthcare professionals on recognition and management of obesity will help reduce the bias and stigma associated with the disease. This could assist the vulnerable group of people to seek help for obesity and any problems that accompany it.