Obesity & depression

This week is National Obesity Awareness Week, the aim of which is to help improve the nation’s health.

The definition of ‘obese’ is a person who is very overweight with a lot of body fat.

Obesity approximately affects one in four adults and one in five children aged between 10 and 11. It can lead to many serious health conditions that are potentially life-threatening, including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, a stroke and also some types of cancer such as bowel cancer.

As well as these serious health conditions, obesity can also affect a person’s quality of life and their relationship with family and friends, which may result in depression and low self-esteem. Depending on how severe a person’s obesity is, it can also reduce life expectancy by an average of 3 to 10 years. As an estimate, obesity and being overweight play a part in at least 1 in every 13 deaths in Europe.

Causes of obesity

Obesity is generally caused by consuming more calories, particularly those in fatty and sugary foods, than you burn off through physical activity. The excess energy is stored by the body as fat.

Obesity is an increasingly common problem because for many people, modern living involves long periods of inactivity, eating excessive amounts of cheap, high-calorie food and spending a lot of time sitting down at desks, on sofas, or in cars.

Tips for losing weight:

  • Eat a balanced calorie-controlled diet;
  • Exercise at work;
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift;
  • Go for a walk at lunch;
  • Think about whether you are emotionally eating. Some people eat depending on their emotional state, and a bad day at work or a tough meeting can be a trigger.

It is worth identifying the reason for emotional eating and taking the appropriate steps to avoid it.


There seems to be a misconception about people’s weight. There are those who think that if they see an overweight person, them being overweight is somehow because they eat too much, or eat foods that are bad for them, but that isn’t always true.

A medical issue such as a thyroid problem that can cause weight gain; a hormone imbalance may be another reason for weight gain; a lack of exercise, together with a sedentary lifestyle may be another reason, followed by excessive alcohol and beer consumption.

There are many reasons. But whatever problem we have with weight gain, it is important we ask for professional help if we are unable to lose weight by ourselves.

15 Jan, 2019

2 thoughts on “Obesity & depression

  1. Anything that increase awareness of obesity and the harm arising form being overweight is a good thing.

    There is still too much stigma around being overweight which makes matters worse, when as you say there can be many reasons for obesity and those reasons need to be addressed.

    Society needs to accept that there are often underlying emotional and/or social problems why a person may be overweight rather than blaming the individual.

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