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
- Summit on Obesity in African-American Women and Girls (PDF, 218KB)
Holistic weight-loss strategies
For psychologists, weight loss isn't about strict dieting. Instead, they favor a holistic approach that addresses both body and mind.
There are real, and difficult, biological reasons why it’s hard to lose weight
January 6, 2018, The Washington Post
Major initiative seeks to combat U.S. soldiers’ weight problems and injuries
December 20, 2017, The Washington Post
How not to talk to a child who is overweight
November 20, 2017, The New York Times