Quality of Life

Obesity has a major impact on the physical, psychological and social aspects.

Quality of Life

Obesity is an alarming health concern worldwide and is considered epidemic these days. It is a multifactorial disease, which may occur due to unhealthy food habits coupled with sedentary lifestyle, socio-economic status and genetic predisposition. The factors that influence the effects of obesity include age of onset, severity of obesity, gender, race, cardiorespiratory fitness and amount of fat accumulated around the waist.

Obesity is an underlying cause for many co-morbidities, such as heart disease, liver disease, lung disease, thyroid dysfunction, and cancer. Having these conditions influence a person’s quality of life in many ways.

  • How obesity can affect quality of life? +

    Quality of life is defined as the extent at which the person is healthy, comfortable, and socially active. Being obese or overweight may affect the following aspects:

    1. Physical aspects: Increase in body weight makes body heavy and bulky. This leads to discomfort and muscle pain at long-term. A person may find difficultly in managing his/her daily activities. They may feel tired as their body expends more energy to move and feel to rest more often.
      Obesity may also affect the person’s productivity at work place. An obese individual may suffer from back problems, muscle pain or sleep apnea. These may result in absenteeism and interfere with the work efficiency.
    2. Psychological aspects: Obesity lowers the self-esteem and brings negative feelings about one self. Body image and appearance are also affected due to obesity.
    3. Social aspects: Obesity may cause an immense decline in a person’s social life and affect the personal and professional relationships. An obese person may suffer direct or indirect criticism, which may affect the mental health of the person. This may result social-isolation, and increase the risk of anxiety and depression.

  • Effects of obesity in children +

    Obesity in children is one of the most serious health challenges in 21st century. Childhood obesity may have tremendous impact on their social, physical and emotional well-being. Obesity during childhood majorly impacts the child’s confidence and decreases quality of life, thereby leading to poor scholastic performance.

    Obese children have low self-esteem, which interferes with their academic performance. They tend to stay indoors as they may not actively participate in physical activities due to shortness of breath. Sleep quality may be reduced due to the occurrence of sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea. They may also suffer from orthopedic complications, such as abnormal bone growth and bone fractures.

    Their sedentary lifestyle may result in more weight gain and decrease their social interaction. If obesity continues through their adulthood, it increases their chances of attaining dreadful diseases that in turn affects their quality of life.

  • Effects of obesity in Adults +

    Obesity affects a person’s physical activity that adversely affects their day-to-day life. Although obesity may equally occur in both males and females, their quality of life is differently affected. It is well known that women are more prone to obesity due to hormonal changes. But, they may also experience an increased decline in quality of life when compared to men.

    Obesity may lead to many conditions that can diminish the
    quality of life in women. They include:

    • Stress
    • Urinary inconsistence (unintentional loss of urine)
    • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
    • Infertility
    • Skin fold rashes

    It may also lead pregnancy related issues such as maternal gestational diabetes, miscarriages or stillbirths. These can increase their vulnerability to psychological disturbances and impaired quality of life.

  • Effects of obesity in elderly +

    As the person ages their physical activity decreases. Aging also leads to decrease in hormonal secretions. These factors may lead to increase in weight in the elderly. Obesity may adversely impact a person’s life in the later stages. A major problem that affects their quality of life is functional capacity. Obesity may aggravate age-related physical dysfunction in elderly people that may cause hinderance in performing their day to day activities. Severe obesity may also lead to dysfunction.

    Another major condition contributed by obesity is dementia. According to studies, obesity increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 80% and dementia by 42%.

    Other complications associated with obesity that may have serious impact on quality of life in the elderly include:

    • Urinary incontinence
    • Arthritis
    • Diabetes
    • Cancer
    • Cardiovascular disease

  • Outlook +

    Obesity is a chronic condition. Treatment for obesity based on quality of life is more beneficial as it is a patient-centered approach. This type of treatment also increases the scope of patient’s overall health improvement beyond weight loss.

    Managing obesity by taking simple steps makes a person feel better. This changes the way they see their life. It can prevent several conditions that occur due to obesity. Lifestyle changes is found to be effective in improving the quality of life. But the individual’s commitment is important achieve the desired weight and improve the overall life experience.






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