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 Mexico’s health program teach the U.S. to lose weight?
February 16, 2014, PBS News
Team spirit may help men lose weight
February 7, 2014, Reuters
Heavy kindergartners far more likely to be obese teens
January 29, 2014, NBC News
Unraveling any weight-gain links to stress, cortisol
January 24, 2014, Los Angeles Times
Food, beverage companies slash calories in obesity fight
January 9, 2014, NBC News
Monitor on Psychology Articles
Emotions are top obstacle to weight loss, poll finds
April 1, 2013
December 1, 2012
Addressing the obesity epidemic: Don’t blame the victim
October 1, 2012
Addressing the obesity epidemic: Why should psychologists care?
April 1, 2012
Peer, parental support prove key to fighting childhood obesity
October 1, 2011
My Big Fat Secret: How Jenna Takes Control of Her Emotions and Eating
September 15 2009
Obesity in Youth
Body Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity