Coping with obesity stigma

Do you know, nearly half of U.S. people who are obese suffer from stigma? Weight stigma is an act of discrimination towards individuals because of their weight and size. This stigma of obesity can affect the majority of people who are obese. This not only impacts mental health but physical health also because it produces negative thoughts and feelings that interfere with obesity treatment. That’s why you must know how you deal with the stigma of obesity to improve your quality of life and focus on your weight loss goals. Visit the best Mental Health Clinic in Brooklyn at Doral Health & Wellness or log on to www.doralhw.org. 

Learn the ways that can help you cope with obesity stigma in this article.  

How does weight affect your emotional, and social well-being? 

Gaining weight not only impacts you physically but emotionally and socially as well.  

Emotional effects 

When people make poor lifestyle and diet choices it often comes from their thoughts and emotions. Usually, when people feel depressed, anxious, or stressed they want to overcome their negative thought patterns, for which people start relying on overeating fat and sugary food products. Not only that, researchers compare obesity with other addictions like alcohol and drugs because they cause the same effect on people. So, if you are a person who suffers from a negative thought process, coupled with depression and stress, then you are most likely to indulge in overeating or develop alcohol and drug addiction. Obese people are also more vulnerable to external cues in comparison to leaner people because they rely on their own internal system to tell themselves that they eat enough. These similarities are also found in drug and alcohol addiction, people experience the same challenges and thoughts as obese people. So, unless the person fights the emotional aspects of overeating, dealing with obesity will be difficult. This way people start binge eating and stress eating to overcome their sense of loss, sadness, and negative aspects of life they dealing with.  

Social effects  

Not only physical and emotional effects, but obesity also causes social effects too. It happens because obesity causes challenges in a person’s life. When a person is diagnosed with obesity they have to fight challenges like staying away from certain foods at home or parties, not being able to perform long and strenuous physical activities, and some people making fun of them. These issues need to be solved with the help of everyone because they cause emotional trauma to the person who suffers from this condition. Nearly half of Americans are either overweight or obese. So, instead of becoming insensitive towards them, people need to help them cope with obesity. According to the American Journal of Public Health, the stigmatization of obese individuals causes health disparities interferes with their obesity intervention efforts, and also threatens health. This shows how weight stigma is both a social justice issue and a priority problem for public health.  

How to deal with the stigma of obesity? 

Many people have to face the stigma of obesity in their everyday lives, especially in the U.S. and other Western countries. They have to experience many disadvantages in many areas of life including employment, healthcare, education, and relationships. Obese people who deal with stigma have to go through psychological stress, binge eating, exercise avoidance, and an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. How you see yourself is another factor that determines how a person copes with obesity. Many people care how others see them rather than how they see themselves. According to a 2015 study, when a person is coping with obesity, self-concept and response to social stigma change over time.  

So, what matters the most is, that people can cope with the stigma of obesity by improving their self-image. Here is what you can do to cope with the stigma of obesity  

  • Leave the situation 
  • Use positive self-talk 
  • Respond positively 
  • Employ self-acceptance tools 

While there are many coping responses have been found, however, the problem is not enough to use them as strategic techniques that are effective in coping with obesity. What you can do is research some coping responses online and choose a couple of them that you find useful against the stigma of obesity which boosts your self-image of yourself.  

Coping techniques 

Here is a list of some coping techniques you can try that might help. 

  • Consult with a psychiatrist or psychologist: They can teach you some techniques on how to deal with depression, anxiety, and other emotional issues. 
  • Hire a professional weight loss coach: This can help you set realistic goals and teach you how to deal with behavioral issues, and how you can set up healthy eating and physical activity habits.  
  • Join a support group: You can find support groups in local community centers, hospitals, or schools. These support groups help you overcome the stigma of obesity by sharing common experiences and the way you can deal with this situation. 
  • Keep a journal to track eating habits: This can help you track how much you eat and how you should avoid your eating triggers or improve your diet to get better results in losing weight.  
  • Involve other household members in healthy eating habits: This is necessary to get more support from your family members because it can encourage you to take treatment and support you when your negative thoughts affect you.  
  • Connect with someone who also has a similar weight loss goal: This can help both of you stay motivated and help each other to lose weight together.  
  • Calling your buddy for moral support: When you have negative thoughts that tempt you to eat junk food, call your friend for moral support to avoid those temptations and continue to work toward weight loss goals.  
  • Write your negative and stressful thoughts and feelings: It can help you calm down and help you avoid overeating or physical activity. Studies also found that people with obesity who express their stressful feelings to others or write them down can reduce the negative impact that stress has on their lives.  

So, instead of worrying about stigma or your failure to stick with your workout schedule, consider what thoughts and feelings may cause you to relapse. Then, talk with a psychiatrist or counselor to make a plan that helps you cope with those bad feelings and negative thoughts.   

People find it hard to deal with obesity stigma rather than obesity itself. This happens when people care more about what others think and how they treat them. But instead, they should focus on themselves and how they can improve themselves. And people need to understand if they support obese people, they can do better to improve themselves and attain the weight they desire. If you suffer from stigma, you can use the above-mentioned tips to improve your thinking and how you can cope with the stigma of obesity.  

If you need help to deal with your negative thoughts and feelings? Call us on +1-347-384-5690 to get a consultation. If you need help learning coping methods, register your information and make direct contact with our doctors and psychiatrists to learn those methods, log on to www.doralhw.org. Doral Health and Wellness has the best Doctors and Psychiatrists who specialize in Behavioral Health, make accurate diagnoses, and craft tailored treatment programs. Visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212.