Obesity articles suggest there is a link between obesity and other diseases, of which depression ranks very high.

The link between obesity and depression
Obese people are often ostracized by society, and this can cause depression especially in teenagers. Dr Ingrid Williamson, a Johannesburg based psychiatrist points out that overweight people may become depressed because of poor self esteem. and excess weight can also contribute to mood swings.

The reverse is also true, in that depressed people have a higher risk of becoming obese. Dr Bruce Blaine, an expert in the field, has reviewed 16 studies on the link between depression and weight gain. He has found that depressed people are at a significantly higher risk of becoming obese, and most at risk are teenage girls. Obesity articles seldom deal with this aspect of the disease.

Obesity articles need to focus more on the mind
Although there are many good books on the power of the mind, we seldom link this to the problem of obesity in the obesity articles being published. Especially in teenagers, any emotional problem is often deal with through binge eating or drinking, and we should be training the minds of young people to deal with adversity in more positive ways.

Braam Malherbe, a South African, was the first person ever to run the entire length of the Great Wall of China with his friend David Grier. They had to run a full marathon (42km) every day for 93 days. Experts told them it was humanly impossible, their bodies could not survive such punishment. They lived against huge odds, fighting off sandstorms and moving from extreme heat to extreme cold as the seasons changed. Their bodies were shattered when they finished and they needed surgery to recover, but Braam says he came to realize just how powerful the mind can be in controlling the body.

It is time for obesity articles to start concentrating much more on the mental side of controlling the disease. We know that obesity is becoming a serious problem and our health system is going to be overloaded without we can turn the tide. Tackling the obesity of our race is a problem that can only be solved one step at a time.

“A journey of a 1,000 miles starts with a single step”

Chairman Mao Tse-tung