Psychological Effects of Obesity

Being severely obese has serious psychological and social repercussions. Many people who are overweight are subject to disapproval, even lectures, from family and friends and to sneers and remarks from strangers. Such behavior is propagated by the general societal belief that obesity is caused by a lack of self-discipline or moral weakness. These attitudes carry over into the work world, where a job or a promotion is often denied simply because of how much one weighs.

Not surprising, many obese people prefer not to go out in public because they feel self-conscious or they simply cannot enjoy activities that most people take for granted, like going to the movies, taking the subway, or going on vacation - because the seats are too small, the turnstiles are too narrow, or the accommodations are too uncomfortable. All these experiences, repeated day after day for years, can lead to depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem,. and mental illness.

The truth of the matter is that morbid obesity is a chronic medical illness, as was announced by the American Medical Association (AMA), At NYU, we strive to educate the professionals and laypeople alike of the seriousness of this disease and the need to treat and prevent it.