Obesity is not merely a physical problem but is also a psychological crisis. Psychosomatic issues can not only foresee obesity development but also follow the constant struggles to manage weight. Emotional and mental aspects of obesity are crucial, so it is necessary for psychological assessment for holistic treatment. The source of eating disorder and stoutness is usually a blend of genetic, psychological, biological, and environmental attributes. Inadequate physical activity and poor nutrition may be direct effect of psychological factors towards overweight. Affected kids, who experience weight bias, bullying, low-self esteem, and depression find it more challenging to manage their weight. Kids and teen belonging to economically disadvantaged families are more apt to plunge into detrimental lifestyle patterns differentiated by poor nutrition, physical inactivity and escalated obesity risk.
Psychosocial contributors of obesity · From patient’s angle Vital psychological contributors include stressors that generate emotional eating – o Being bullied o Feeling neglected o Suffering maltreatment o Lack of supervision and limit-setting o Parental separation Such challenges predispose teens or kids to employ food as cope device. Harassed kids probably overeat to comfort themselves. Chronic stress can even root poor sleeping habits, weariness, and an unwillingness to participate in regular physical activities at school and home. Insufficient sleep is a well-known risk factor of obesity. Constant worry and tension can negatively brunt the immune system thus increasing risk of viral infection in the upper respiratory system and slow down physical activities consistently. Stressful living conditions like poverty or general depression and anxiety can fuel neuro-endocrine reactions. A triggered hypothalamic-pituitary axis along with sympathetic nervous system is capable to bring on intra-abdominal adiposity, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance via escalated production of cortisol.
Discrimination – Harmful socio-problem ‘Weight-bias’ means the inclination to make unjust judgments on the basis of an individual’s weight is a noteworthy social issue. Overweight kids have difficulty in making friends. They are more prone of being bullied, humiliated, or not accepted. Some obese kids are more likely engaged in bullying behavior. Weight loss through only lifestyle changes is not sufficient for bullied kid. Some are unable to stick to healthy nutritional programs because of eating disorders. A fear of being bullied will make them stay indoors and exercise less. Discrimination against overweight and obese children is a detrimental, invasive, and major social crisis, which needs to be addressed as soon as possible in a concrete manner.
Parent’s responsibility Parent’s role is essential in promoting healthy active living and managing childhood/teenager obesity. Important parental responsibilities include – o Good role modeling o Purchasing healthy food for family o Setting limits o Maintaining healthy family routines o Effective time & money management o Making sure that divorce process remains un-traumatic High obesity rate is found in kids without siblings and the reason for this is still unclear. Hypothetically, the only child may eat more because of loneliness and boredom or may be pampered with serving too much food. Some parents push their kids in a specific sport, which can cause an aversion for exercise or sport. Failure in marriage can be a difficult scenario for children/teens to handle. Divorced parents charge one another for failure in their relationship, which places a strain on the minds of their children, who induce in emotional eating. Parental resources like money, time, and energy, due to divorce conditions make healthy eating and routine physical activities tougher.
Role of society Healthy eating includes consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables but its cost is higher. In addition, attaining fresh fruit is difficult in many remote regions. Therefore families having limited income and awareness along with access to fresh food have the potential to be overweight. TV ads related to processed food high in sugar and fat influence the mind of teens and kids. The strategy of direct marketing to susceptible youngsters for developing brand loyalty from an early stage often succeeds. These foods are more likely to be purchased because they are reasonably priced than healthier alternatives. Children and minorities living in apartment buildings or in neighborhoods where playing outdoor is impossible are at high risk for getting obese. Many territories have eliminated daily physical training (PT) classes in support of academics. According to research, regular PT actually enhances academic performance as well as decreases stress.
Conclusion Childhood obesity is equivalent to those found in adults including unique cases like genetics and behavior. Behavior comprises of lack of dietary patterns, inactivity, or sedentary lifestyle, or parental constraints and other such exposures. The socio contributors are lack of access to food & physical activity environment. Obesity epidemic is difficult to fight but it can be attained. Take one step forward and make at least one person aware, who in turn will educate someone thus the chain will be formed. At least, parents of future generation can reap the benefits sowed, today. In my next article, I will discuss about grave consequences of obesity, which needs to be treated individually as well as with active support from family and community.
Tags – psychological factors, psychosocial contributors, obesity and overweight in childhood/teenagers, parental responsibility, society role
Authors Bio Bhavna Patel is a victim of genetic obesity, who had a dream of shedding those unnecessary pounds but failed. Genetic obesity is difficult to fight but people can be aware of other psychological factors and contributors. This blog aims towards the betterment of health from childhood.