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MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS LINKED TO OBESITY



Obesity is associated with a higher likelihood of having certain mental health disorders including anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Anxiety- is a type of mental health disorder that involves significant worry. Depression- is a mood disorder that involves sadness, loss of interest in activities or hobbies, and negative feelings about one’s self. Increased appetite and weight gain are also common symptoms of depression, which can put depressed individuals at risk for developing obesity. Bipolar disorder- is another type of mood disorder that involves manic and depressive episodes. During a manic episode, a person experiences either an elevated or irritable mood for at least 1 week. Like other mental health conditions, people with bipolar disorder may turn to food as a way to cope with distress.

Tips for improving your physical and mental health:

There is a strong link between your weight and your physical and mental health. By making certain lifestyle changes, you can improve these areas of your life. Maintain a healthy diet

If you are overweight or obese, eating a healthy diet and limiting your calorie intake can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of health problems related to obesity.

A healthy diet consists of:

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Whole grains

  • Protein, including meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, and soy

  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy

  • Oils and healthy fats

  • Limited processed foods, saturated and trans fats, sodium, and sugar


Practice good sleep hygiene

Not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your physical and emotional health and increase your risk of obesity. Studies have found that people who sleep less than 5 hours a night are more likely to be obese than those who sleep at least 7 to 8 hours.

When a person doesn’t get enough sleep, it impacts many of the body’s functions, including metabolism. People who don’t get enough sleep also tend to eat more carbohydrate-rich foods, which can result in weight gain.


Exercise about 3 hours a week

Exercise is an important activity for managing your weight and mental health. Regular exercise will help you lose weight and decrease your risk of:

Regular exercise can also improve your mental health by decreasing depression and anxiety. This is because exercise increases blood circulation in the brain and impacts communication between the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the limbic system, hippocampus, and amygdala, all of which impact your mood and stress response.


Release stress

Stress is not only linked to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. It is also linked to eating behaviors. People who are under stress may have a tendency to overeat, which can lead to obesity. For some people, eating may be a way of coping with stress, but this can lead to more problems in the long term. Instead of turning to food, it is important to find other ways to manage your stress.


Practice mindful eating

Mindfulness meditation is the practice of being aware of the present moment. Studies on meditation have found that it can help decrease anxiety, depression, and binge eating.

To improve your awareness of your eating habits, you can also try a mindful eating practice. The bottom line

It is common to experience both obesity and mental health issues together. For some people, obesity may contribute to developing certain mental health conditions, while for others mental health issues may lead to weight gain and obesity. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your health that can have positive effects on your weight and mental well-being.


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