Obesity, Self Esteem, & Depression

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Obesity has been a life long struggle. While myself and fifty percent of adults in the United States are battling obesity, the psychological effects have become larger than the obesity itself. Not only are we forced to deal with the physical effects of being overweight, I, like others have had to overcome the psychological effects as well. Low self esteem has been a challenge and has ultimately fueled my bout with depression. Although obesity, low self esteem, and depression are three separate issues, they are all linked and are all relevant to not only me, but to millions of Americans. OBESITY

Obesity, as defined as a body weight fifteen percent or more above the ideal for one's height and age. It is typically evaluated by measuring body mass index (BMI). According to the National Obesity Association (www.obesity.org), BMI is calculated by dividing one's weight in kilograms by the square of his/her height in meters (BMI = kg / m2). While the BMI of a person of normal weight is 18.5 - 24.9, the BMI of an obese person if above 30 (BMI over 40 is considered morbidly obese). BMI is an indicator of a medical condition when used in conjunction with other factors such as race, ethnicity, muscularity, age, and sex.

The natural assumption is that obese individuals simply eat more than those of average weight, however there are three main causes of obesity; genes, environment, and behavior. Genetics play a large part in obesity just as they would play a part in determining one's eye color. A person born to overweight parents is likely to be overweight. Genetics also affect the hormones that control fat regulation. For example, Leptin, is a hormone produced in fat cells that controls weight by signaling the brain to eat less when enough body fat is stored. If one does not produce enough Leptin, this control is lost and obesity occurs. Environment is another factor for obesity. America is a society where you do not even have to get off your couch to eat a...
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