Health Services Administration
Rates of obesity have continued to grow in the United States, as well as the rates of mental illness. There appears to be a link between mental health and obesity. Obesity develops from a combination of environmental effects and genetics, both of which can present as heightened risk factors in people with mental illness. Obesity also brings with its higher risks of type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which can further affect psychological well-being. It has been discovered that an uneven number of individuals with mental health issues are obese compared to the general population. The research method that was developed to analyze the connection between mental health and obesity in the United States is composed of qualitative and quantitative data. The qualitative and quantitative data utilized was derived from secondary peer reviewed data sources. Healthcare professionals have conducted research in order to discover if an individual that has a mental illness will be at an increased risk of becoming obese, or if obesity increases an individual’s chances of developing a psychiatric disorder. Considering the dangers and increasing rates of obesity and mental health illness, it is important to discover if there is a relationship between them. People who struggle with mental illness produce leptin and ghrelin hormones. Those hormones lead to an increased appetite and lack of sleep which are both risk factors for obesity. People who take anti-psychotic medicines report an increase in weight gain and issues regulating insulin. Through management and treatment of both conditions a clearer understanding of the connection will be evident. Proper management of mental illness, especially in regard to medication, eating habits, and physical exercise, can lead to a reduction in obesity. This will help eliminate the rate at which both health issues and negative health effects are rising in the United States.
Barnett, Lexie E., "Relationship Between Mental Health and Obesity in the United States" (2020). 2020 Symposium Posters. 4.
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