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Obesity linked to Depression and Vice Versa

The March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, reports a study that shows a connection between obesity and depression. Dr. Floriana Luppino of Leiden University Medical Center and GGZ Rivierduinen, Leiden, the Netherlands, and her colleagues analyzed the results of 15 previously published studies involving almost 60,000 participants. The researchers studied the longitudinal (over time) relationship between depression and obesity.

The research revealed associations between depression and obesity that went both ways—obese individuals tended to be depressed and depressed individuals tended to be obese. In fact, overweight persons had a 55% increased risk of developing depression, and depressed people had a 58% increased risk of developing depression.  The studies showed this tendency is higher among Americans than Europeans.

Among many physicians and researchers, obesity is considered an inflammatory body state and inflammation is closely linked with depression. Likewise, as most of us would suspect, since being thin is admired in the US, overweight or obese individuals are likely to have body dissatisfaction and lower self-esteem which has been shown to create a higher risk for depression. Further, being depressed contributes to overeating to self-soothe, so it’s no surprised that depressed people tend to become overweight.

The findings are important for clinical practice, the authors note. “Because weight gain appears to be a late consequence of depression, care providers should be aware that within depressive patients weight should be monitored. In overweight or obese patients, mood should be monitored. This awareness could lead to prevention, early detection and co-treatment for the ones at risk, which could ultimately reduce the burden of both conditions,” they conclude.

Our Bakersfield weight loss program works well for those struggling with obesity. I encourage my readers to do whatever they can to keep their weight within a normal range–except for crash dieting which is never good for your health. Join a gym, take a daily walk, get a dog to encourage you to get out everyday and exercise, get a bike or a scooter. There’s alot you can do that, over time, will contribute to a normal weight and a healthier, longer life.

To your health and beauty,

Vip Dev, MD