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Study Finds Link Between Depression and Obesity 

A new study has found that people who are obese were more likely to become depressed, and people who were depressed were more likely to become obese. This recent research linking depression and obesity was reported at ScienceDaily June 2, 2008. 

Researchers led by Sarah M. Markowitz, M.S. examined the potential links between obesity and depression through examining correlational data which suggested that there may be a connection between the conditions, and identified what appeared to be causal pathways from obesity to depression and depression to obesity. 

The obese are believed to be more likely to become depressed as they experience poor health, and are frequently more dissatisfied with their physical appearance.  This causal link was especially prominent among women and among individuals with high socioeconomic status. 

 

It was also found that people who were depressed were far more likely to be obese because of some of the physiological changes related to their hormones in their immune system that occur when an individual is depressed.  They frequently have more difficulty taking good care of themselves because of the symptoms and many of the consequence of depression such as no longer adhering to fitness regimens, overeating, and having negative thinking. 

Current treatments that focus on exercise and stress reduction can help manage both obesity and depression at the same time.  Dieting, which can sometimes worsen mood and antidepressants, which can frequently cause weight gain should probably be minimized. 

The authors concluded that “The treatment of depression obesity should be integrated.”  The authors then went on to conclude that “This way, healthcare providers are working together to treat both conditions, rather than each in isolation.” 

This study was published in the March 2008 issue of Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 

Citation: 

Wiley-Blackwell (2008, June 6). Obesity And Depression May Be Linked. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 10, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2008/06/080602152913.htm

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic  MA Licensed Psychologist   Ph.D. Candidate  (Health and Geriatric Psychologist)

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