A new poll has found 45% of overweight people have felt depressed because of their size.
Oviva, the company behind an NHS-partnered weight loss app, surveyed 2,000 people with a BMI over 25, with 25% saying they stay at home as much as possible as a consequence of their size.
Dr Mark Jenkins, UK managing director of Oviva, said depression linked to obesity is a “growing mental health crisis” in the UK and he called for more funding for weight management services, with the money to be used on smart digital healthcare, such as tailored coaching and professional support.
Another simple step we think you might want to consider is taking stock of your social media, as it can have a huge impact on your mental health, particularly if it feels like you’re being constantly bombarded with images of the ‘perfect’ body type.
Breaking away from these unrealistic ideals by unfollowing the accounts that make you have negative feelings about yourself, and following more positive ones, could help you feel more at peace with your own body.
Don’t know where to start? These body-positive accounts will help make your Instagram feed a more uplifting place…
1. Laura Iu
Laura Iu describes herself as the “anti-diet dietitian”, writing on Instagram: “I’m passionate about helping all bodies find more compassionate ways to take care of themselves. I specialise in helping humans move away from diet culture.”
Her feed is full of inspiring posts reminding us every body is different and equally worthy of love, as well as helpful tips on how to cultivate body acceptance and take care of your mental health.
Alexis Conason is a psychologist who runs The Anti-Diet Plan Instagram account. If you’re looking for real, achievable and helpful tips on how to heal your relationship with food and your body, this is the account to follow.
While not a dedicated body-positive account, there’s a reason Lizzo has become such an icon for the movement. She openly practises self-love, constantly posting joyous pictures of her body on Instagram.
Lizzo’s page is a reminder to “radically love” ourselves, and to give thanks to our bodies whenever we can.
Life coach Michelle Elman started the ‘Scarred Not Scared’ Instagram account “after she decided there was little representation for people who had scars”. Now, it’s much broader – she covers everything from body positivity to relationship advice.
Elman often posts her outfit hauls and favourite looks, showing you can look – and feel – fabulous at any size.
Stephanie Yeboah describes herself as a “body image and self love advocate” – and that’s very much what you get on her Instagram. Her posts are a constant reminder to love yourself, regardless of your body shape or skin colour.
She’s refreshingly real about her personal struggles – in one post she wrote: “I’m trying really hard to overcome the feelings of perpetual invisibility due to not having the aesthetic privileges that many have and in turn, it’s making me think of how much easier my life would have been if my skin were lighter, if I were loads smaller.”
On top of all this, Yeboah is a certified fashionista and her page is full of some seriously covetable outfits. If you like what you see on Instagram, pick up a copy of her 2020 book Fattily Ever After: A Black Fat Girl’s Guide To Living Life Unapologetically.