Emotional Aspects of Obesity
One of the most painful aspects of obesity may be the emotional suffering it causes. American society places great emphasis on physical appearance, often equating attractiveness with slimness or muscularity. In addition, many people wrongly stereotype obese people as gluttonous, lazy, or both. However, more and more evidence contradicts this assumption. Obese people often face prejudice or discrimination at work, at school, while looking for a job, and in social situations. Feelings of rejection, shame, or depression are common.
When to Seek Help for Obesity
You should call your doctor if you are having emotional or psychological issues related to your obesity, need help losing weight, or if you fall into either of the following categories.
- If your BMI is 30 or greater, you're considered obese. You should talk to your doctor about losing weight since you are at high risk of having health problems.
- If you have an "apple shape" -- a so-called, "potbelly" or "spare tire" -- you carry more fat in and around your abdominal organs. Fat deposited primarily around your middle increases your risk of many of the serious conditions associated with obesity. Women's waist measurement should fall below 35 inches. Men's should be less than 40 inches. If you have a large waist circumference, talk to your doctor about how you can lose weight.