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Can Anxiety Result in Obesity?

At first glance, anxiety and obesity may seem like two entirely unrelated conditions, but several different studies have found that they are actually closely connected. According to a study from General Hospital Psychiatry in 2008, people who have an anxiety disorder are 30 times more likely to be obese than people without anxiety. Grand Strand home care providers understand that one condition does not always cause the other, but they are very closely related.

Both Anxiety and Obesity Affect Physical Activity

The relationship between anxiety, obesity, and physical activity is well documented. People who have anxiety disorders tend to be fatigued and exhausted, so they may be less inclined to exercise, which increases obesity risk. Obese people are less likely to exercise because it is more difficult, but many studies have found that exercise boosts endorphins and decreases anxiety levels. Therefore, both conditions can make it hard to exercise, and the lack of exercise can further exacerbate both health issues.

Anxiety May Change Appetite and Fat Storage Mechanisms

Anxiety may seem mental, but chronically high levels of stress and anxiety cause certain hormones to become imbalanced and physically affect people. Research by Dr. Jeffrey Zigman in 2008 found that chronic stress causes a rise in cortisol hormones that increase appetite and cause the body to store more food as fat. In a dangerous situation, the ability to accumulate fat stores would prevent starvation, but in the modern world, this defensive mode triggered by stress just causes obesity.

Social Stigma of Obesity May Increase Anxiety

Obesity may be increased by anxiety, but the opposite situation is also possible. Many obese people face an excessive amount of ridicule because obesity is so stigmatized in many modern cultures. The constant stress of being treated poorly can cause obese people to develop anxiety disorders. Because of this issue, obese people are more likely to have anxiety issues if they live in an area where being obese is highly frowned upon.

With help from Home Care Assistance Grand Strand seniors can learn to adopt healthy lifestyle choices including healthy diet and regular exercise in order to boost both physical and mental wellbeing. Our highly trained live in and hourly Grand Strand caregivers use our proprietary Balanced Care Method to help our clients remain vital and active during their golden years. Contact an experienced Care Manager at (843) 353-3105 today to learn more about how we can help your loved one age in place.