Negative Body Image Causes Obesity

Negative Body Image Causes Obesity

Contrary to earlier claims that Depression causes Obesity among youth, a study from The University of Texas (UTHealth), found that negative body image increases the risk for Obesity among adolescents.

The study found that adolescents who perceived themselves to be overweight, despite not being overweight, were more likely to be Obese one (1) year later.

The study found that negative body image is the mediating risk factor lying between Depression and Obesity, among adolescents.

Females in the study group were found to be three (3) times more likely to be Obese at the one-year mark.

This shows that negative body image has a greater and faster impact on weight gain and Obesity than Depression.

A previous study by UTHealth, only looking at Depression and Obesity, found that participants who were depressed were twice as likely to become obese only six (6) years later, implying a cause-and-effect relationship.

Negative body image has been associated with Depression and other psychological issues including Eating Disorders, disordered eating behaviours, unhealthy eating and inactivity.

Those with negative body image tend to:

  • Overeat;
  • Eat unhealthy foods;
  • Eat less fruits and vegetables;
  • Cutting out food groups;
  • Restricting food intake;
  • Over-exercise, and/or
  • Rarely engage in exercise or other physical activity.

Negative body image and Obesity go hand in hand – when you have a negative and poor body image, it is difficult to create true change for weight loss, health and happiness.

Some things you can do to improve your body image are:

  • Stop or reduce engaging in social media and media;
  • Stop comparing your body to others;
  • Accept the body you were born with;
  • Let go of body shame and hate talk;
  • Praise your body and yourself;
  • Reduce processed foods and drinks;
  • Feed your body unprocessed and healthy foods;
  • Drink more water;
  • Move more for enjoyment;
  • Build self-compassion, and
  • Celebrate yourself for who you are today.

Overcoming a negative and poor body image can be difficult, especially if it is something that has been created over time.

If your body image has resulted in low Self-Esteem, Disordered Eating Behaviours and/or Eating Disorders, then Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic can help you with personal support.

Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic understand your struggles, and provides you with information and support, to help you overcome the behaviours and beliefs maintaining Disordered Eating and/or Eating Disorders