Obesity is a condition marked by excess accumulation of body fat. Genetic factors play a key role in obesity, but so do behavioral factors — especially eating too much and exercising too little.
Obesity can lead to diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea and other problems. In fact, some researchers believe that obesity is second only to smoking as a preventable cause of death.
Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Psychology
What You Can Do
Getting your weight under control
A major aspect of weight control involves understanding and managing thoughts and behaviors that can interfere with weight loss.
Confronting childhood obesity
Tips and resources for parents about helping their children make better decisions about what they eat to prevent childhood obesity.
Mind/body health: Obesity
Stress, sadness, anxiety and other emotions can lead people to eat too much. Learn how to address these psychological issues in a healthier way.
How social support can help you lose weight
Psychological research has found that a group approach to weight loss helps, at least in the short-term.
The nation’s childhood obesity epidemic: Health disparities in the making
This epidemic disproportionately affects ethnic minorities and those who live in poorer communities
Can looking at food photos make you feel full?
September 15, 2014, NPR
Weight loss may not improve mood, study says
September 5, 2014, Fox News
Teens who skimp on sleep may face later obesity risk
August 21, 2014, Huffington Post
Extreme obesity shortens your life more than smoking
July 11, 2014, CNN
Monitor on Psychology Articles
Emotions are top obstacle to weight loss, poll finds
Addressing the obesity epidemic: Don’t blame the victim
Addressing the obesity epidemic: Why should psychologists care?
Peer, parental support prove key to fighting childhood obesity