Of the many behavioral disturbances to which obese persons are subject, only two seem specifically related to their obesity. One is overeating, the other is a disturbance in body image. The disturbance in body image is characterized by a feeling that one's body is grotesque and loathesome and that others view it with hostility and contempt. This feeling is associated with self-consciousness and with impaired social functioning. It arises among emotionally disturbed persons whose obesity began prior to adult life, in families which did not value their obesity. The disturbance is not affected by weight reduction but has been favorably altered by long-term psychotherapy.