Can Internet Addiction Disorder Make You Fat?

internet addiction disorderMost of us are online almost everyday. Some of us are even making a living through the Internet. It is true that cyberspace is already part of our lifestyle, making most people more sedentary, dependent or even prone to lethargic behaviors, thanks to the invention of the Internet.

However, we are also aware that spending lots of time online can also affect our health. Spending too much time on the Internet already has a medical description, it is called Internet Addiction Disorder or simply called as Online Addiction.

This so called disorder has various impact on health, especially with regards to our mental and emotional state. But did you know that it can also affect your weight? This post will discuss on how this addiction can constitute to weight gain and its over-all health effect. But first, what is this disorder?

What is Internet Addiction Disorder

WikiPedia simply defines Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) as Internet overuse, an excessive use of computer which already interferes with daily life. This disorder was originally proposed by Dr. Ivan Goldberg in 1995, which was somehow agreed by the public press and is now classified as a psychological disorder.

Dr. Goldberg suggests that various online activities can be considered as IAD, as long as it interferes with your normal life. It includes online shopping, gaming, watching videos, gambling, over-exposure to social media and even those who research information online.

Today, Internet Addiction Disorder is now divided into different “activity” types – excessive, overwhelming or inappropriate pornography use, gaming, online social networking, blogging, email or Internet shopping. Although some oppositions might say that compulsive Internet use doesn’t necessary mean that you are already addictive.

Like any other proposed health disorders, conflicts and criticisms are always present. People who are making a living online such as bloggers, could not accept the fact that they were “addicts”. Well, you can’t say you are an addict if your life circles around computers are you? For the past decade, IAD was never fully accepted by the medical society and the general public, especially in the developed countries.

Causes and Effects of Internet Addiction Disorder

Internet Addiction Disorder is classified as a mental issue, preferably linked to depression. Experts suggests that AID does not stimulate the release of neurotransmitters such as endorphin and oxytocin, which are responsible for feelings of satisfaction and relaxation.

This mean that Internet overuse has a significant effects psychologically as well as your social life. An Asian study even suggest that IAD affects life negatively, which has various consequences such as job loss, marriage breakdown, financial debt and academic failures for teens.

This effects were mostly due to excessive online gaming, social networking and other online activities that accumulates at least 40 hours a week for both non-academic and non-employment Internet use.

How Internet Addiction Disorder Affects your Weight

So the question is, how does this disorder make you fat? Well, the first obvious reason is that, too much Internet use make your life too sedentary. It is just like watching television excessively. Since being online these days is a necessity, people would just browse the Internet for any kinds of reasons, neglecting any social or physical activities.

Another fact that online addiction can make you fat, is the link between Internet use and anxiety. I recently wrote an article about how anxiety can hinder your weight loss program. On that post, some research suggests that anxiety could either affect your weight negatively or positively. This means that prolonged Internet use is one symptom of anxiety, which also affects the way you eat, exercise or any other methods of fitness.

As you put more time online, you also increases your risk of anxiety. Some research suggests that anxiety helps increase your catabolic metabolism while decresing your anabolic metabolism. This lead to more stored fats, which constitutes to weight gain.

How to Treat Internet Addiction Disorder

Forbes compare Internet Addiction Disorder to food addiction, both of which are unavoidable activities. Controlling or better management will help you overcome this disorder.

One method to treat IAD is through cognitive behavior therapy. As a form of psychotherapy, CBT can help people to think alternative thoughts or behavior patterns, which could help overcome their usual addicting routine. Reports said that an improved well-being and good behavior were all seen on those IAD sufferers who have undergone cognitive behavioral therapy.

Last thing to remember is prevention. You should be able analyze yourself if you are truly an excessive Internet user. Manage your urge before it gets out of control.


Internet Addiction Disorder is not just a psychological issue, it does cover a whole-lot more health concerns. If you are on a weight loss program, it is important that you should not completely ignore your workout plans over online activities. Excessive use of the Internet encourage laziness which lead to overeating and lack of exercise.

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Noah Mark

Hi, this is Noah and thank you for reading this post. I hope you learned something here. Rest assured that I will continue to bring you the best weight loss information in this site to help you overcome all your weight gain endeavors. Please follow me on Google+ and Twitter to learn more.

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