Effects of obesity and exercise: Is obesity a mental health issue? The Harvard Mental Health Letter investigates

Not so long ago, it was commonly believed that overweight and obese people were compulsive eaters, anxious, depressed, under stress, or trying to compensate for deficiencies in their lives. But today, when almost everyone seems to be getting heavier and obesity has become a national issue, both experts and the public are dismissing the idea that weight gain is a personal emotional problem. The October issue of the Harvard Mental Health Letter looks at the undefined relationship between mental health and obesity.

The American Psychiatric Association has never regarded overeating or excess weight as a psychiatric disorder, and most obese people do not qualify for a psychiatric diagnosis. Accordingly, most studies do not find a clear association between mental health and weight.

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