Body Image and Obese Identity in Bariatric Patients: Psychological Factors and Clinical Management


Carmela Mento¹, Maria Catena Silvestri², Antonio Bruno¹, Maria Rosaria Anna Muscatello¹, Amelia Rizzo², Giulia Celona², Giuseppe Navarra³, Rocco Antonio Zoccali¹.
¹Biomorf Department, University of Messina, Psychiatric Unit Policlinico Hospital, Messina, Italy
² Psychological Doctor, University of Messina, Italy
³ Department of Human Pathology of Adult and evolutive Age, G. Barresi, University of Messina, Italy

Series: Psychology Research Progress
BISAC: PSY036000

According to literature, body image generally does not change after bariatric surgery. It is the bias body-mind in the obese paradox. The reduction of kg is not the same as the reduction of brain space. Patients in post surgery, experience difficulty in adapting to a new body, a persistent obese view of self, feelings of fatness and body image avoidance. Body image dissatisfaction among obese patient persist after bariatric surgery.  Ex obese patients, mainly women, feel uncomfortable and often dissatisfied with their physical aspect; they have a wrong perception of their body image and consequently have a reduced self-esteem, sometimes showing difficulties in functional areas such as work, relations and social activity.

Body image affects an individual in his global dimension and from this, many complex effects can result that can generate feelings of satisfaction or dissatisfaction and that can lead an individual to make radical choices in the aesthetics treatment of their body. These aspects concern the need to combine evaluation and psychological treatment with pre and post surgery in order to allow the patient to feel the body changes and change his/her eating habits for a fruitful adaptation process.




Chapter 1. The Construction of Body Image and Obese Identity

Chapter 2. Obesity Treatments

Chapter 3. Clinical Management of Bariatric Patients


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