How Being Obese Can Negatively Affect Your Self Esteem

obesity negatively affects self esteem

When you think about obesity, the first thing that comes to mind is physical problems such as heart diseases.

We tend to overemphasize on the physical challenges that result from obesity and overlook emotional health. This is often ignored by both parents of obese kids and doctors alike.

Obese victims are left to deal with emotional issues on their own.

The psychological ramifications of obesity are more painful to individuals than physical problems. It is unfortunate that society idealizes certain body types and criticizes obesity and being overweight. This leads to the stigma which affects the self-esteem of the individuals.

Today, we explore the relationship between obesity and self-esteem to help victims overcome these challenges. Learn more!

How Does Obesity Affect Self-Esteem?

Eating Disorders

The pressure from the society to look thin and have a perfect body affects the attitude of obese people. Some form a negative attitude towards food and develop eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. An obese person can use harmful ways to avoid gaining weight and try to lose the extra fat in the body.

One can start viewing their body as ugly and induce vomiting after eating. Some spend too much time trying to exercise and end up hurting themselves in the process. Others go for days without eating in an attempt to lose the weight.

Eating disorders can be life-threatening as they affect your esteem and can cause physical effects such as chronic dehydration, esophagus inflammation, peptic ulcers, and even infertility. Others end up getting stressed about how they look and turn to food as a stress reliever. This leads to more weight gain and more harm to one’s self-esteem.


being anxious overweight

Too much weight can also cause anxiety when you listen to the negative comments around you. The society worships slim bodies and looks down upon obesity.

This can make you feel bad about your body and cause anxiety. For instance, employees may view and obese boss as lazy and incompetent even if these claims may not necessarily be the case. It can create insecurity in the person and affect the way they relate with the employees.

The Loss Of Energy

If you are obese and feeling ashamed about your body, it might affect your energy levels and prevent you from enjoying the pleasures in life. It may take you more efforts compared to normal weight peers to be active.

This makes obese people lead an inactive lifestyle which increases the risk of adding more weight.  Such a lifestyle makes one overwhelmed with life stresses decreasing the energy levels more. With time, it can make ordinary tasks such as using the stairs challenging.

Negative Behaviour

The highest percentage of obesity affects teenagers. Most obese teenagers have low self-esteem compared to those who have normal weight levels. This is the age when a child starts developing a sense of self-worth.

The teasing and feeling of shame due to being overweight can make one try to find solace in drugs and alcohol.

Clinical Depression

Obese people also tend to withdraw themselves from social activities with others to avoid criticism. Staying in isolation for long because you are not proud of your body can cause clinical depression.

You may end up hating and criticizing yourself. According to a study, a lot of overweight girls suffer from clinical depression caused by rejection and loneliness.

Boosting Your Self-Esteem When Dealing With Obesity

Work On Your Confidence

Despite criticism from others, self-confidence can help you raise your esteem to fight mental issues such as depression. You can deal with social stigma against obesity by feeling good about your body and appreciating yourself.

Instead of remaining in isolation, engage in activities like anyone else and be confident around others.

Dress up confidently and do not accept other people’s opinion deter you from doing what you want. You cannot prevent the negative comments from people, but you can take them positively and not let them affect your emotions.

Participate In Social Activities

We now have programs that accommodate people of all sizes. For instance, modelling is no longer limited to slim ladies anymore. There are jumbo competitions that are meant for plus-size ladies. These can boost your self-esteem and help you appreciate your body more.

You can also join groups that empower obese people. They fight discrimination in society and teach people the importance of accepting oneself.

Practice Positive Affirmation

positive affirmations when you're obese

Building self-esteem starts with how you view yourself. When you look into the mirror, do not criticize yourself but instead focus on the good qualities as you work towards improving the areas that you feel are letting you down.

Remind yourself that you re beautiful no matter what people may say about you. Loving yourself first ensures that nobody can hurt you based on the size of your body.

Attend Therapy

Dialectic behavior therapy and cognitive therapy can help you deal with emotional problems. They can also help you change your beliefs about body shape, weight, and dieting.

If you are struggling with eating disorders or depression, talk to a therapist. Sharing with such non-judgmental people can help you restore your self-esteem.


Obesity and low-esteem often go hand in hand. It is the emotional side of being overweight that hurts more than the physical side. That being said, you should start to embark on a diet plan to lose the weight. As much as you should proud of your body, being obese comes with many health issues.

Start eating healthily, do both cardio and weights, take a proper weight loss supplement if you can afford it and don’t give up the battle.

If you are a victim, use the strategies above to cope with the struggles of low self-esteem and lead a happy, healthy life.

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