Does it matter if I am overweight? 2. Some psycho-social consequences.

  • Roy J. Shephard


Objective. The objective of this narrative review is to consider the impact of various levels of obesity upon psycho-social health. Methods. Information obtained from Ovid/Medline and Google Scholar through to September 2018 was supplemented by a search of the author's personal files. Results. Overweight and obesity predispose to a variety of significant practical and psycho-social problems. At school, there are issues of bullying, exclusion from sports, a poor self-image, adverse teacher evaluations and academic grades. Adults also face many issues in their daily life such as the finding of appropriate clothing, difficulties in travel and the use of public seating, medical discrimination, and reduced employment and marital prospects. Taken together these cause a reduced quality of life, with an increased risk of anxiety and depression, and a propensity to suicide attempts. Conclusions. The adverse psycho-social consequences of an excessive body weight are a significant handicap, and they offer further ammunition that can be exploited by fitness professionals as they encourage participation in and adherence to weight-control programmes.

Author Biography

Roy J. Shephard
Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, University of Toronto
How to Cite
Shephard, R. (2018). Does it matter if I am overweight? 2. Some psycho-social consequences. The Health & Fitness Journal of Canada, 11(3), 22-66.