Weighty Consequences: Diagnostic Challenges and Practice Considerations Associated With Obesity

Wendy Ashley

Abstract


The impact of obesity is detrimental to health, mental health and well-being.  Despite the significant increase of adiposity in the past two decades, the condition has gained minimal representation in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR and DSM 5), the primary diagnostic classification system used by mental health practitioners. Because the diagnostic classification of obesity is nebulous, obesity related impairments are unacknowledged and treatment is compromised. This article explains why changes in the DSM 5 fail to adequately address the relationship between obesity and mental health, utilizing case study examples to elucidate the psychological impact of obesity in varied clinical settings. Additionally, the author reflects on the challenges of diagnosing and treating obesity with high-risk, marginalized populations.

Keywords


Obesity; Diagnosis; Practice; DSM 5; Weight stigma

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/%25x

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