The Psychological Effects of Teen Obesity

Obesity is one of the main reasons for a variety of other health problems and diseases. There is a surge of obesity among children and adolescents and this poses serious psychological, physical and emotional issues.  It is important for everyone to know the kinds of risks obesity poses so that we can be more aggressive towards fighting this epidemic.

If your teen is obese or overweight then he/she may be facing some complex and serious psychological issues as well. It is important to recognize these issues so that they can be resolved through treatment. The following are the various psychological effects of teen obesity:

psychological effects of teen obesity

Low Self Esteem

Research has shown and proved that obese teens tend to have a lower self-esteem as compared to others of normal weight.  To recognize low self-esteem, check if your teen has been feeling more nervous, lonely and sad and whether or not he/she tries to maintain a distance from others to avoid getting the issue of weight raised. Teens with low self-esteem also tend to engage in risky activities and behavior such as trying alcohol, cigarettes and drugs.


Another serious psychological effect of teen obesity is depression.  Those teens who are overweight as compared to their normal weight friends tend to get dissolved into depression and may experience feelings like sadness, hopelessness and withdrawal from family members.  Some other signs of depression are change in sleep patterns, loss in interest in activities and being locked up in a room all day.


Another common side effect or psychological effect of teen obesity is anxiety.  As a teen tends to gain weight, he/she may experience severe levels of anxiousness which can also further lead to obstructive behavior such as withdrawal from family, avoidance of friends etc.  This anxiety can also hinder the learning process and thus a decline in the academic performance.

Poor Body Image

As a result of obesity, a teen may experience poor body image and this may keep him/her from engaging in sports and other physical activity.  Also, those teens who are obese and have poor body image may also be at a risk of developing an eating disorder as well.

Eating Disorder

Teen obesity can also lead to eating disorders. This is just another serious psychological effect of being overweight as a teen. Some eating orders developed as a result include Anorexia, Bulimia and compulsive overeating. Eating disorders are often a result of the teen making an effort to lose weight through unhealthy practices.