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Are Obesity and Depression Related? What To Know

Know how depression and obesity might be related.

Published
Health News
2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Obesity &amp; Depression: Some people who are overweight may have low self-esteem, low confidence and are often depressed.</p></div>
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Obesity and depression are considered notorious health problems and are bidirectional. Certain medications of depression may cause weight gain in some people. Meanwhile, some with mental health issues may use food as their coping mechanism and therefore suffer from obesity and eating disorders.

Some people who are overweight may have low self-esteem, low confidence and are often depressed. Some studies also suggest that obesity and depression have a few similar causes like genetics, hormonal imbalance, unhealthy gut among others.

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Depression & Obesity: The Link

Depression or anxiety can lead to weight gain due to the wrong food choices, sedentary lifestyle and over eating. This behaviour can be because of the condition itself or the side effects of medicines. At times, mental health issues lead to sudden loss or gain in weight.

According to CDC, 43 percent of people suffering from depression are obese and those who are depressed are also at a higher risk of becoming obese. According to PubMed Central, children who are depressed have higher BMI than kids who are not.

Obese People Are at Higher Risk of Depression 

According to JAMA, people who are obese are at 55 percent higher risk of suffering from obesity. Obesity is often associated with mental health issues like anxiety, depression and sadness. This may be due to bullying or societal pressure due to their obese condition.

Obesity also causes other health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure and joint pain which are also hidden causes of depression in some cases.

Stress Can Worsen the Situation

When people get stressed, they are more likely to turn to food as their coping mechanism which puts them at a higher risk of obesity.

Stress can also trigger anxiety and depressive symptoms in people if they have been under stress for long. According to PubMed Central, obese people who had to face stressful situations like bullying had higher risk of suffering from depression.

How Can They be Managed?

Obesity and depression are both chronic conditions and have harmful effects on the health. It can be difficult to manage both simultaneously. That is why it is important that a doctor is well aware of both the conditions. The doctor can prescribe you the right medicines and a treatment plan.

Risk of Other Health Issues

Depression and obesity together when not managed well can lead to various other health issues like chronic pain, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, sleep apnea and other sleep-related issues.

But when both are managed well, risk of other diseases can be reduced. Proper treatment for depression may motivate you to move and exercise. You may make better food choices that may prevent obesity and other issues that are a result of obesity.

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