Americans are among the most overweight people in the world. Those that struggle with their weight experience low self-esteem and multiple health issues. When a person feels badly about the way they look, it can cause them to avoid contact with their peers and damage social relationships. Also, those who are obese have a hard time motivating themselves to change their lifestyle; usually they need professional help in order to start a healthier life.
Counselors can try multiple therapies with their patients ranging from diet and exercise, to drug therapy, to surgery. The best therapy depends on the individual and the severity of their situation. Another issue that counselors must tackle is that many people who are overweight are reluctant to seek help. If they finally do, often their health has deteriorated so much that a solution is harder to reach.
How does Obesity Affect Your Body?
A person’s body suffers greatly when they are overweight. They have problems with blood pressure, cholesterol and are at risk for developing diabetes. The healthiest way to lose weight is increasing physical activity and starting a calorie reduced diet. This allows the patient to shed body fat and increase their overall health. The problem with this method is that it’s slower and requires hard work and commitment and may not be possible for those who have trouble moving.
Another treatment method that has increased in popularity is gastric bypass surgery. This surgery is only appropriate for those with severe obesity and other serious health problems related to their weight. Complications from this treatment are not uncommon but can be more favorable than leaving the problem untreated. This procedure is very expensive, having good insurance coverage will alleviate the costs if the patient is morbidly obese but they may have to provide documented proof of previous weight loss attempts.
Not only can counselors make a difference by helping people figure out an approach to help them with their weight, but they also can encourage people to become more aware of their health. Counselors can work with nutritionists and other professionals to help make information about healthier lifestyles available and possibly more affordable. These resources have the potential to help people before their weight becomes a dangerous threat to their health.
The acceptance of unhealthy lifestyles has become so common that obesity is growing at epidemic levels. The U.S. population has a long struggle ahead of them that will require the participation of everyone contributing to this problem including the media, restaurants, schools, food processing companies and individuals. Working to make healthier food options available, affordable and as convenient as possible could be the only way for Americans to change bad habits.
Professionals have been aware of the link between low income and obesity for a while. Families and individuals who have tight financial budgets are likely to cut costs when it comes to food. One analysis has shown that the more fast food available within an area correlates to the amount of obesity prevalent.
With multiple issues causing obesity problems, often the solution revolves around fixing behavioral habits. As medical treatments can be quick fixes for dire obesity problems, turning an unhealthy life into a healthy one requires consistent counseling and communication of an understanding of underlying problems resulting in a person’s obesity.
Find out how you can become involved, request information from schools offering Psychology degree programs. Also, learn more about the psychology career licensing processes and what the requirements for licensure are: Psychology Career Licensure.