The Association Between Obesity and Social Anxiety Disorder
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Background Obesity has been gradually increasing since 1980, it has been shown to have a variety of causes and impacts. Those who are obese are more likely to suffer from several diseases such as cancers and diabetes. Correlations have been found between psychiatric disorders and obesity, yet specific disorders such as social anxiety disorder lack research. This review looks at the relationship between obesity and social anxiety disorder, discusses why the association exists and provides recommendations. Results As BMI increases so does the likelihood of suffering from Social Anxiety disorder in the United States and Canada in females in both lifetime and past year prevalence, no association was found for males. No association found in New Zealand. Severely obese adolescents found to have higher rates of social anxiety disorder compared with healthy controls. Obese female adolescents correlation found, no correlation for males. Obese female adolescents have more intense social anxiety than male adolescents. White Caucasians stronger association than African Americans. Relationship with eating disorders may exist. Research from Germany provided conflicting results. In the Netherlands, no association between social anxiety disorder and weight gain/loss over two years. 2 Conclusion Association found with obesity and social stigma possibly resulting in social anxiety disorder with females being affected more. Evidence suggests social the stigma of obese adolescents results in social anxiety disorder lasting well-into adulthood along with their obesity. Recommendations Consider social stigmas impact on the obese population particularly in under 18s when planning interventions as it may result in social anxiety disorder which could be a barrier to the treatment of obesity. Therapist assisted internet cognitive behavioural therapy is recommended for social anxiety disorder; if psychotropic medicine is used, Bupropion is recommended. Research recommendations included.
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