More than 1 billion people worldwide suffer from obesity (650 million adults, 340 million adolescents and 39 million children). This number is increasing day by day. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2025, some 167 million people – adults and children – will be less healthy because of being overweight or obese.
The irony is that the fatter people get, the more they fear it. Fear of obesity or obesity, or what is known scientifically as "Obesophobia", is a problem that many people suffer from, especially women, and specifically girls in their prime.
It is a complex problem closely related to eating disorders, such as anorexia or vice versa, that is, an exaggerated increase in appetite, which is known as " bulimia ", as well as the social view of obese people, which may make their lives an unbearable hell.
A real panic afflicts women and girls
The matter goes beyond fear, as the entire modern social and cultural context rejects "obesity", especially in a world that associates beauty with agility and thinness. Obesity is more than just an increase of a few kilograms of fat. Sometimes, according to " Woman magazine" in a recent report.
People with obesity phobia can also suffer from more serious repercussions, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, as the social rejection that surrounds obese people develops an irrational fear of gaining weight. Therefore, they tend to isolate, and refuse to participate in social events associated with food, such as parties and weddings, which leads to introversion, isolation, and distance from society.
It is difficult to know how many people in the world suffer from obesity phobia, as many people keep this fear to themselves, or may not realize that they have it. Studies have estimated that about 1 in 10 adults in America alone suffer from a phobia of obesity, and that 1 in 5 adolescents in the world suffer from a type of phobia at some point in their lives.
Obesophobia is more common among teenage girls, but it can happen to men or women from childhood to adulthood, according to the Cleveland Clinic platform ( clevelandclinic.org ) in a recent report.
What are the causes of obesity phobia?
There is no single specific reason for obesity phobia, but it may be due to several factors, according to the " Health Line " platform, perhaps the most prominent of which are:
It is judging people based on their weight. This is an important part of modern civil societies, which often praise and uphold thinness, and underestimate obese or overweight people.
The pursuit of perfection may be related to environmental, social and family factors. And there are people who have a genetic tendency towards perfectionism. In a culture that makes thinness a goal, being overweight is portrayed as a disadvantage, and this can cause obesity phobia, especially in those with a strong desire for perfection.
social anxiety disorder
Obesophobia may arise from "social anxiety disorder", which involves the fear of social rejection for various reasons, including the fear of being overweight. This is why many people – especially women – who suffer from this type of disorder develop a phobia of obesity.
Obesophobia can be the result of previous personal experiences and experiences. For example, if you are being teased about your weight or appearance, you may associate being overweight with people's negative view of you. This can make many people fear gaining weight.
Symptoms and consequences of obesity phobia
A person with obesity phobia may experience physical symptoms of anxiety, stress, and even panic when he thinks of gaining weight, according to the Cleveland Clinic platform. Among the most prominent symptoms that may occur in these people:
- excessive sweating
- Heart palpitations.
- shortness of breath.
- Stomach upset or indigestion.
Obesophobia manifests itself in the irrational and excessive fear of obese people, as well as of being overweight. The consequences may be more serious than the symptoms themselves, as the consequences of obesity phobia range from social isolation and depression, not to mention eating disorders that can cause countless physical and mental health problems, according to "woman magazine".
How do you deal with obesity phobia?
There is no specific treatment for obesity phobia, but you should know that what determines people's view of you is not your external appearance or the number of kilograms in your body, but the way you look at yourself first, and your respect for it, and then the way you deal with people. This means that your soul, mind and heart are much more important than your weight or your outward appearance.
It may be very helpful for you to practice anxiety management techniques, such as:
- Deep breathing exercises.
- Muscle relaxation exercises.
- Meditation practice
- practicing yoga.
These will all help you manage stress and deal with your own concerns about being overweight.
But if the condition is more satisfactory, then “cognitive behavioral therapy” with the help of a specialized expert may be the right solution for you, according to the aforementioned “Cleveland Clinic” platform report.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a structured psychotherapy that can help people understand and control their thoughts, fears, and emotions. It also helps in getting rid of negative thoughts related to being overweight. Over time, people with obesity phobias will be able to change their feelings and behaviors related to food, drink, exercise, and weight.