Mental health is an issue that struggles to find recognition in the less inclusive spheres of conservative societies. The social stigma that revolves around mental health creates significant barriers towards its social acceptance. The elements of sexism also play a crucial role in complementing the adverse effects of obesity and mental health.
Obesity: A Key Factor Contributing To The Degradation Of Mental Health
Obesity is one of the key contributors to mental health issues. The two have a cause-effect relationship, where obesity is the cause, and bad mental health is the effect. Obesity has its physical effects that have long-term pernicious consequences such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, etc. However, the mental element enters into the picture when external factors start affecting the individual due to his obese physique. Since a significant variable in the equation is society, different age groups experience different levels of Stigmatization. For instance, a child might be subject to bullying in school. A teenager might never be characterized as ‘popular,’ and a young adult may have difficulty developing social or romantic relationships.
Obesity And Its Side Effects
The dynamics of obesity and mental health develop when considering the intricate nuances of the human experience. Obesity invites physical suffering such as low stamina, bad sexual health, and other problems. A person’s struggle due to a bad physical condition distorts their regular function and gives rise to frustration. Hence, the physical effects of obesity channelize the suffering and convert it into mental agony, thus deteriorating an individual’s mental health.
Depression And Its Link With Obesity
Depression is a significant consequence of obesity. The way people treat an obese person may be different from how they treat others. They are subject to jokes that fat shame in a bad humor; they are ostracised out of athletic exercises and fail to attract social interaction. The combined effect of such nuanced social experiences exacerbates their depression. Further, it is ironic that stress eating is also a side effect of bad mental health caused by obesity. This is a reaction to repeated advice of people to cut down on eating and adopt a specific lifestyle. It tends to be an infinite loop that a person is stuck in and requires professional help to break out of it.
Studies have consistently shown that people suffering from obesity go through Stigmatization (development of negative thoughts due to mental illness) and miss many opportunities in life which they are easily capable of. Researchers have also found that obese people have low Gray matter in the brain due to depression and negative thoughts, therefore decreasing their thinking capacity. Obesity has more adverse effects and may lead to Dementia at a later age and destroying the quality of life.
As per the saying, “A healthy mind can only reside a healthy body.” Controlling obesity not only improves our body shape, avoids physical health problems, and it also improves mental well-being. Regular exercises will boost the body’s metabolism of the body and enhances brain functioning. Also, people in society should improve their way of thinking towards overweight or obese people, not by always discouraging them; they can uplift their morals by giving them the motivation to improve their body shape and not make them mentally sick.
Hence, we conclude that many factors emanate from obesity and differ from person to person based on their age, gender, and cultural orientation. Therefore, Indian society needs mental health sensitization and awareness about the life of an average obese person.