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The Obesity Blues

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

Obesity and depression often seem to go hand in hand and now new research proves that this is indeed the case.

A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry studied more than 9,000 American adults and found that those with a Body Mass Index of more than 30 were far more likely to suffer from major depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder and agoraphobia. In fact, obese subjects were 28 percent more likely to develop depression, rising to 44 percent amongst Caucasian and middle class Americans.

Study leader Dr Greg Simon says, “Understanding the connection between obesity and depression is an important public health issue because both of these conditions are so common and have a significant impact on our health care systems.”

WLR says:

For some people, obesity can lead to depression; for others, depression may result in changes to eating habits that lead to unwanted weight gain. In fact, appetite can either increase or decrease with depression, resulting in corresponding weight gain or Weight Loss – some experts estimate that around a third of depressed people actually gain weight.

Meanwhile, some anti-depressant drugs may cause weight gain as a side effect. Furthermore, depression can also make dieting seem like an impossible task. If you think you may be depressed, see your doctor and ask for help. Then once your mood starts to lift, you’ll probably find it easier to shift those excess pounds.

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