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Exploratory Research Paper on Obesity: Literature Review

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The word Obesity in a dictionary is defined as having excess body fat. Obesity many times is overlooked or joked about due to people not researching how obesity is a very important health issue that is only increasing. Obesity to me is more than a word. During High School and Middle School, everybody always joked about obesity and other health issues. But one day I and my friends saw a kid get bullied because of his weight, and nobody except me was curious because this was one of my first days in High School. He later became more introverted and seemed to not want to have friends. This brought me to the question How does Child Obesity affect you mentally in the future?

To understand the mental effects of childhood obesity in the future we must first tackle the definition of Child Obesity. Child Obesity is a condition in which a child is significantly overweight for his or her age and height. Unfortunately, obesity begins at a young age most of the time. This makes it much more difficult for kids especially to get rid of obesity because they grow up obese. From an article titled Childhood obesity The report presented by NHANES for the year 2007-2008 estimated that 16.9% of children and adolescents in the age group of 2-19 years were obese. Examination Survey. These are alarming rates and at the moment are only going up. Before researching about childhood obesity this information seemed to be fake but after opening my eyes and observing my surroundings on tv and in newspapers these numbers only seemed right. We are surrounded by a society where junk food is the most popular type of food and video games are taking over. So in today’s society why are we being surrounded by so many things that lead to obesity?

One article from American Psychological Association titled The Impact of Food Advertising on Childhood Obesity tackles the question of why children are becoming obese at such a young age. From this article, studies have shown that the rates of childhood obesity have almost tripled over the last quarter century and about 20% of the youth in the United States are now overweight even in Pre-School overweight rates are increasing at an alarming speed. One of the big causes of adults staying obese is caused with never being able to lose weight and maybe even gaining weight. The prevention efforts in childhood obesity have to be mainly focused on not becoming obese. Research has shown a connection between advertising and children can be a cause of childhood obesity because advertising for non-nutritious food has been increasing over the last decade. This information should change how we look at obesity in general. We all probably thought that adults were obese due to the fact they didn't want to take care of their bodies. But it makes sense that they are obese probably because they were obese as a child. This article made me think about how difficult it is to finally overcome the challenge of losing weight and what the main causes people stay obese from a child.

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As I thought about my initial question, this made me wonder how child obesity could later change a person mentally. Thinking it would help me connect obesity and its mental health effects. An article from 2013 titled Child Obesity from The Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health (Davidson) outlines the causes of obesity and also the symptoms of obesity. This article lists many causes of obesity, but where it begins is the most important. Studies show that beginning weight control at a younger age will most likely carry out into adulthood. Also being overweight at a younger age can cause bullying to happen and lower self-esteem and later depression and lead to three times the chances of having several mental health effects in the future such as depression, diabetes, and increased anxiety or stress. This can be noticed a lot in High School. There is bullying about weight, and the ones getting bullied usually end up being introverted and not wanting to make friends. This has definitely changed how I examine obesity, obesity to me is not just a random thing people make jokes about but a disorder that can lead to many mental health effects in the future. What relationship do one of the major mental health problems, depression and obesity have?

Well, this can be seen in an article from 2014 Depression and obesity in the U.S. adult household population which connects how obesity is evidently a cause of depression and how many people suffer from obesity and depression. This article states that 43% of adults that were dealing with depression were obese as well compared to the other 33 % of adults without depression. And women were more likely to be affected by obesity from depression than men and this information was consistent through all ages. In this article as the severity of depression increased and more people are being affected by depression were increasing the obesity rate in these people was also increasing. This made me think that the real problem was that people would become depressed and then later would become obese due to the effect of depression. But then the same article stated that obesity and depression can be a bidirectional relationship. Meaning that Obesity can cause depression and vice versa. But this is only one of the many mental health effects obesity causes. This proved to me that depression can be a cause of obesity but obesity can cause more mental health effects such as hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia, among other medical conditions, threatening to shorten the longevity of the American populace by as much as 5 years. Why or how can it be to prevent Obesity or stop being obese?

In an article titled Developing Mental Toughness For Permanent Weight Loss, we will understand how losing weight isn’t as easy as it may look sometimes. Losing weight isn’t just having a good diet and exercising hard. Studies have shown the main reason losing can be so hard is because of mental toughness. In the article “Especially in today’s stressful society, you must be mentally tough”. We are not mentally tough because in today’s society we are surrounded by people and food temptations everywhere we go. This showed me that to lose weight mental toughness is needed and when we are affected mentally by obesity it can lead to many other mental health effects that we might never be able to overcome. But what is the best way to overcome mental toughness and overcome obesity or other mental health effects?

Now when we hear obesity we think of being overweight. But we never think about how somebody is going through obesity mentally. We might joke about their weight or how they look. But we never think of how it began and how they might end up in the future because they are obese. Now I definitely am looking at obesity as one of the biggest problems in the United States and is only increasing. I learned that the one kid I saw people making fun of in High School is going through so many problems and that is why he is obese, and I will now always stay by his side because he wants to change but is depressed. How has our society changed so much over the past decades? And what will it take as a society to change again?

Works Cited

  1. Davidson, Tish, editor. 'Child Obesity.' Gale Virtual Reference Library, Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health, 2013, Accessed 21 Feb. 2019.
  2. Karnik, Samira, and Amar Kanekar, editors. 'Childhood Obesity: A Global Public Health Crisis.', International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3 Jan. 2012, Accessed 21 Feb. 2019.
  3. LA, Pratt, and Brody DJ. 'Depression and obesity in the U.S. adult household population.', Oct. 2014, Accessed 21 Feb. 2019.
  4. Banas, Jeffrey. 'Developing Mental Toughness for Permanent Weight Loss.'
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Exploratory Research Paper on Obesity: Literature Review. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from
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