What’s the Correlation between Anxiety & Obesity?

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What’s the Correlation between Anxiety & Obesity?

Extensive scientific research has proven anxiety and obesity have a strong correlation. In some cases, anxiety can directly lead to weight gain and other health problems. Similarly, seniors who are overweight or obese might become anxious and depressed because of low self-esteem. Here are some scientific explanations for the correlation between anxiety and obesity. 


When under stress, the body releases a large concentration of cortisol into the bloodstream. This hormone plays a key role in the body’s fight-or-flight response. In stressful situations, cortisol can suppress the breakdown of fat molecules. Therefore, the body might tend to accumulate excess fat due to the release of cortisol initiated by anxiety. 

If you’re concerned about your loved one’s emotional wellbeing, consider hiring a professional in-home caregiver. Fort Lauderdale home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

Medication Side Effects

People diagnosed with clinical anxiety are typically prescribed potent medications such as benzodiazepines. These psychoactive drugs can disrupt the body’s metabolism and other normal functions, and the resulting imbalance in digestive and hormonal patterns can lead to significant weight gain. Prescribed to treat anxiety and depression, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can also cause a person to gain some extra pounds. 

Comfort Food & Drinks

Anxious people often turn to certain foods and drinks to manage emotional stress. People with anxiety might develop a strong appetite for sweets and fatty foods that trigger the release of dopamine into the bloodstream. Dopamine is a complex compound responsible for pleasant sensations in the body. Some people also turn to alcohol to completely block out feelings of stress and anxiety. These comfort foods and beverages often contain large amounts of sugar, which contributes to excessive weight gain.

Professional caregivers with training in nutrition and healthy habits can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement for seniors. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading elderly home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

Lack of Exercise

People who are anxious and depressed often lose interest in recreational activities. These individuals simply don’t enjoy playing sports and engaging socially with others. Therefore, anxiety can lead to significant physical inactivity and weight gain. Some studies suggest that establishing an exercise regimen can reduce anxiety and other emotional problems. 

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Fort Lauderdale families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Call +1 754-900-5102 today to speak with a friendly and experienced Care Manager to formulate a home care plan for your loved one.