About Obesity

Obesity and Psychological Factors

Obesity is a condition in which a person's weight exceeds the typical weight due to an accumulation of fat. Obesity affects more than one-third of the American population. The disease is linked to behavioral habits as well as psychological factors such as emotional arousal. Depression, anxiety, anger, and irritation, according to Collins and Bentz (2009), increase an individual's eating habits, resulting in obesity. The psychological aspects that contribute to obesity will be discussed in this study.

Emotional Excitation and Obesity

Emotional excitation, such as stress, worry, loneliness, and rage, for example, psychologically contributes to obesity (Collins & Bentz, 2009). Obesity may occur from emotional stimulation because of excessive food intake. Based on psychosomatic theory, eating as a result of emotions is commonly found on people who eat in response to emotional excitement rather than eating out of hunger or for satisfaction. People who face emotional stress turn to food while attempting to recapture comfort and security which consequently lead to obesity.

Behavioral Factors and Obesity

Additionally, behaviors such as eating out of lack of activity extensively contribute to obesity. Based on behavioral factors, time and place increase the chances of becoming obese (Collins & Bentz, 2009). For example, individuals may have a particular place and time where they eat food. As a result of the behavior, a person may take food when they do not need to eat or while they are not hungry thus contributing to obesity. As a result, Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and overweight has recently emerged.


In conclusion, psychological factors such as emotional as well as behavioral factors significantly contribute to obesity. Emotional factors such as stress and anger among others force people to overeat. Recent research reveals that persistent overeating is as a result of psychological problems (Collins & Bentz, 2009). Therefore, individuals engage in overeating to aid in solving their emotional challenges thus causing obesity. Also, some individuals have a behavior of eating without considering time due to lack of activity hence increasing the chances of becoming obese.


Collins, C., J. & Bentz, E., J. (2009). Behavioral and Psychological Factors In Obesity. The Journal of Lancaster General Hospital, 4(4). Retrieved from http://www.jlgh.org/Past-Issues/Volume-4—Issue-4/Behavioral-and-Psychological-Factors-in-Obesity.aspx

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