• Call
  • 0208 123 0703

Mental Disease


How Obesity Can Weigh on Your Mind

Posted Friday 28 December 2018 09:46 by Tim Deakin in Weight loss

obesity and mental health

We’re often warned about the physical impact of obesity, but what about the emotional toll it can take?

Obesity continues to be a huge issue for UK healthcare. In fact, 62% of adults in the UK are overweight or obese.[1] This is a serious concern, as obesity be a factor in many serious health concerns like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.

However, the consequences of living with obesity can also be emotional as well as physical. We’re here to explore the ways obesity and mental wellbeing can interact.

Is obesity a mental health issue?

It’s important to establish that there is no direct causal link between mental health and obesity. The reason this is important to state is that there is often a stigma attached to overweight people that they are ‘slower’ or less intelligent than thinner people. This caricature holds no basis in truth.

Instead, we’re going to explore how mental health and obesity can impact each other in ways shown by research and statistics. Can mental health conditions make obesity more likely, and can being obese increase your chances of experiencing mental health concerns?

Eating disorders

Mental health can impact our weight at both ends of the spectrum, as evidenced by conditions like anorexia. Over the last four decades, the number of eating disorders has escalated hugely both in the UK and worldwide. In fact, it is estimated that there are over 1.6 million people struggling with an eating disorder in the UK.[2]

On the surface, eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia represent the opposite problem to obesity; causing sufferers to become extremely underweight rather than overweight. However, they do highlight a key connection between dietary habits and mental health.

This connection also presents itself in habits like binge eating, which is often a key cause of obesity. Binge eating compels people to consume huge quantities of food in a short period of time. Unlike other conditions like bulimia, sufferers rarely purge themselves afterwards. However, feelings of shame, guilt and even depression are common.

Obesity as a symptom: a vicious cycle

hamburger and chipsAlthough we cannot assume that just because someone is obese that they must be living with mental health concerns, obesity can be a symptom of psychological factors. For example, stress is one of the most common mental health concerns in the UK. According to the Mental Health Foundation’s 2018 report, 74% of people reported feeling so stressed in the last year that they were unable to cope. What’s more, 46% reported that they ate too much or ate unhealthily due to stress.[3]

Conditions like anxiety, stress and depression can lead to the use of food as a comfort or coping mechanism. They can also have a detrimental effect on motivation when it comes to activities like exercise and cooking healthy meals. As such, your likelihood of becoming obese rises with the appearance of these conditions. This can then create a vicious cycle, as being obese can reduce your motivation even further and make you feel more anxious or depressed.

If you’re struggling to lose weight, start the new year off right with safe and effective weight loss medication from Express Pharmacy. Both Xenical and Mysimba can help support you on your weight loss journey and meet your goals in a healthy way. And for further support, contact our team today. Call us on 0208 123 07 03 or use our online Live Chat service.


What More Can We Do for Mental Health?

Posted Wednesday 18 April 2018 10:41 by Tim Deakin in Weight loss

Research shows that there is still a long way to go when it comes to mental health awareness and support...

A recent survey by ADP UK has found that UK employers are showing a lack of interest in their employees’ mental wellbeing despite the fact that many employees are suffering from significant mental health concerns.

The study, which assessed 1,300 workers, revealed that almost a third of British workers (31%) feel that their employer has little to no interest in their mental health. Despite this, a fifth (20%) of employees feel stressed out on a daily basis, and a third (33%) are even considering seeking new employment because the pressure is so bad.

Managing Director of ADP UK, Jeff Phipps, says:

“A certain level of stress is natural, even healthy, in the workplace, but it’s important that it doesn’t get out of hand. Employees who endure consistently high levels of stress are in danger of suffering from anxiety and even burnout. This can lead to more serious mental health issues.”

It seems mental health is worst among younger employees, as 22% of workers under 35 say they experience stress every day. 42% say it’s so bad they are considering a different job.

In a separate survey exploring mental health, one in six UK adults said they had experienced some kind of neurotic health problem in the last seven days, with anxiety and depression being the most common disorders. What’s more, a recent Psychiatric Morbidity Survey reveals that there are around 3 million people in the UK living with anxiety, and a further 3 million living with depression.

Not only are these concerns common, they are also serious. A study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) compared the effects of depression to those of physical conditions like arthritis, asthma, angina and diabetes. They concluded that the effect of depression on a person’s ability to function was up to 50% more serious than those of all four physical conditions combined.

What more can we do?

Understanding mental health conditions is the first step to dealing with them effectively. ADP UK suggest that employers take the time to research the symptoms and signs of conditions like anxiety and depression in order to put the necessary initiatives in place. Jeff Phipps states that this can be both a moral course of action and a smart business investment.

“Stress and mental health issues are one of the main causes of employee absence and staff turnover, which means supporting employees isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also a worthwhile investment […]

“Employee assistance programmes and occupational health services are also imperative in creating a safe location where employees can go in confidence If they’re facing an issue.”

Mental health can have physical consequences

Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can be difficult to spot because, often, the effects cannot be seen. However, both depression and anxiety can lead to physical symptoms.

Mental health disorders like depression often result in sufferers feeling constantly tired, as sleep quality can become poor. This may lead sufferers to take comfort in unhealthy habits like overeating, smoking and a lack of physical exercise. Sometimes anxiety and depression also lead to low sex drive and, in men, conditions like erectile dysfunction become more common. This can lead to a vicious cycle in which the mental symptoms worsen due to growing concern over physical symptoms.

For healthcare information, treatment and support about a range of health conditions, including smoking, weight gain and erectile dysfunction, contact Express Pharmacy today. Call our team on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet Live Chat service.


The Murky World of Brain Fog

Posted Monday 27 February 2017 16:49 by Tim Deakin in Primary Care Givers

brain fogWe all have the odd bad day but what if losing your train of thought or suffering from poor memory becomes part of everyday life? For those who suffer from brain fog, these undesirable symptoms are a harsh reality.

In this article we take a look at the causes of brain fog and reveal just some of the steps that are recommended to help lift the haze.

What exactly is brain fog?

Brain fog is known by many names, from the clouding of consciousness to brain fatigue, and can be experienced in mild to severe episodes by individuals of all ages and from all walks of life.

For most, the effects of brain fog come on suddenly with no warning. They can make the management of symptoms particularly difficult. Lack of focus, poor short term memory, reduced mental sharpness and difficulty organising thoughts or finding words are just some of the symptoms associated with brain fog. Where symptoms aren’t addressed or appropriately managed the effects of brain fog can influence sufferers’ personal and professional lives in the long term.

The causes of brain fog

There are a number of triggers that can bring on episodes of brain fog. In an age of digital overload, your lifestyle can play a major role in just how severely symptoms strike and how often. The stress and anxiety that often goes hand-in-hand with modern day life is a primary cause of brain fog. In addition to this, nutritional deficiencies and dehydration have been proven to cause disturbances in the brain. Good brain function relies on the consumption of foods containing magnesium, vitamin B12 and amino acids, and if your body is deficient in these nutrients or dehydrated in general, then brain fog is likely to occur. Lack of sleep can also result in brain fog symptoms.

As well as everyday lifestyle factors, there are certain stages of life where you are more susceptible to the effects of brain fog. If you are undergoing chemotherapy, memory loss can be a common side effect, however this is usually a short term issue. For women experiencing the menopause, pregnancy or a particularly heavy period, hormonal changes can influence your memory and concentration.

Stress and depression is also commonly associated with brain fog – whether it is mental fatigue caused by work or a lack of sleep, or depression caused by an issue such as weight concerns.

How can I relieve symptoms?

Regardless of the cause of your brain fog, there are several steps that you can take to relieve symptoms and actively improve your memory. Drinking more water and making positive changes to your diet is a great place to begin. Focus on eating a brain-function-boosting diet by incorporating foods that are rich in Omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids, magnesium, complex B vitamins, and antioxidants. People who smoke or consume high levels of alcohol have also been proven to be at greater risk of brain fog, so take steps to limit intake.


  • ← newer
  • 1
  • older →