Diet and Mental Health: How Are They Connected?


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Obesity is a result of an excessive amount of body fat. The physical health issues that are caused by being overweight are numerous, ranging from cardiovascular issues to osteoarthritis. However, the relationship between obesity and mental health has not enjoyed a similar spotlight. Many people, especially adults have had to shoulder the burden of being obese.

For many adults living with obesity, as well as the resulting numerous mental health challenges, many treatment approaches, which can tackle both conditions, are gaining popularity. It is important to understand the relationship between mental health and obesity. To lend you a hand, this guide will explain better.

How Obesity Causes Mental Health Problems

A woman measuring her waist with a tape measure.

Mental issues can be caused by a wide range of societal and practical factors, to which patients with obesity are often exposed to. Some of these are explained in this section.

Quality of life

People who are living with obesity are often confronted with various issues that relate to occupational and physical functioning. They are sometimes restricted by their size. As a result, many of them are often unable to engage in their favorite activities. This restriction often results in loneliness and social isolation, which can impact self-esteem. Chronic pain at different joints can also be an issue on its own, which can cause depression.


A significant challenge that overweight people often have to face is the negative perspective society has on obese people. These include attitudes and notions that associate obesity with laziness, unattractiveness, and lack of discipline. These bad misconceptions can be pervasive among friends, families, and peers. In fact, this discrimination can also exist among healthcare providers. These bad, discriminatory attitudes can adversely affect a person’s employment opportunities, wages, and self-esteem.

Bad body image

While many thin people, especially ladies, often resort to weight gain pills for females, overweight people are often worried about losing weight to keep a good body shape. Poor body image and weight bias are related. People often associate the stigma in society with obesity. As a result, patients can start feeling embarrassed by their body weight, as well as their appearance. They become dissatisfied with the way they look and they start getting anxious whenever they are in public because of their appearance.

Physiological issues

Many factors that are related to health issues due to obesity can also affect mental health. According to several studies, it has been shown that poor eating habits, as well as excess body fats, can facilitate inflammation. This can result in a significant risk of being depressed.

Can Mental Health Problems Cause Obesity?

A woman, who is stressed out.

It must be stressed that the relationship between mental health and obesity is not simply a one-way street. Even though the impacts of excessive weight on mental health have been well-documented, it is also true that the mental state can also affect a person’s weight 

Anxiety and depression

Many people often resort to excessive eating to cope with depression, bipolar dispersed, chronic stress, and other mental issues. As a result, they are prone to making bad eating choices, which can cause obesity.

When there is a deficiency in the serotonin level, there is always a change in the mood, as well as a bad sleep pattern, which can result in cravings for carbohydrates, resulting in weight gain. Simply put, people that are deficient in serotonin can resort to food to self-medicate. Besides this, depressed adults can also lack the vigor, encouragement, or energy to engage in physical activities, which can help in reducing the risk of becoming overweight. Usually, by leading a sedentary lifestyle, you are at risk of developing weight-related issues.


According to certain studies, it has been shown that there is an interrelationship between mental health and obesity. These medical conditions have serious effects that cannot be ignored. As a result, it is important to understand this connection.