Depression and obesity go hand in hand, according to research performed by United States health officials. The U.S. National Center for Health (NCHS) conducted a study entitled Depression and Obesity in the U.S. Adult Household Population, 2005–2010.
Researchers found a link between depression and obesity. Both are associated with many health risks, which include diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, studies have also shown increased rates of obesity in individuals with depression. However, the relationship between the two maladies may vary by sex.
Laura Pratt, an epidemiologist at NCHS and lead author of this recent report, describes the following.
“We are just describing the relationship, but we don’t have anything in our data that would help us answer the why question.”
Researchers are aware of the fact that when depression increases, so does the likelihood of obesity. However, a cause-and effect relationship has not yet been determined.
The report shows race and gender play a role in the correlation involving depression and obesity. Additionally, the study also found that women with depression were more likely to be obese than men suffering with the same condition.
Supplementary findings of the report indicate forty-three percent of the adults diagnosed with depression were obese. Moreover, fifty-five percent of the adults taking antidepressant medication for severe or moderate symptoms of depression were obese, as well.
The connection between depression and obesity is theorized by Tony Tang, an adjunct professor in the department of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Tang has this to say about a depression and obesity connection.
“Both depression and obesity impact many aspects of life, and their relationship is naturally complex. Some of the connections are obvious: Obesity can cause low self-esteem, social isolation, and stressful health problems. All of them can cause depression. Depression can lead some patients to binge eat and get obese.”
Tang explains more.
“Many aspects of a modern lifestyle can cause both depression and obesity. A few popular antidepressants, such as Paxil, are known to cause weight gains. Wellbutrin, a different type of antidepressant, might aid weight loss.”
Unhealthy eating habits, such as overeating, are capable of increasing the odds of becoming obese or depressed. Depression medication may also act as a contributor to depression and obesity.
In fact, the report suggests that some antidepressants are positively related to obesity. Nonetheless, having an understanding of the relationship linking depression and obesity and antidepressant usage may enlighten treatment and prevention strategies for both conditions.
Individuals battling depression and obesity need help. Show them that you care by offering your respect. Consider motivating them and lend a helping hand.