LUMC LogoObesity is a grave problem faced worldwide. This problem needs to be addressed as fast as possible in an efficient way. Did you know that obesity could be linked to an augmented threat of depression and vice versa? At least this is what a study claims.

As per the background information of the article, depression and obesity are believed to be problems with chief public health repercussions.

The authors commented, “Because of the high prevalence of both depression and obesity, and the fact that they both carry an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, a potential association between depression and obesity has been presumed and repeatedly been examined.”

Comprehending the association between two conditions in due course may aid in enhancing prevention and intervention strategies.

Floriana S. Luppino, M.D., of Leiden University Medical Center and GGZ Rivierduinen, Leiden, the Netherlands, and colleagues examined the outcomes of around 15 formerly published studies concerning around 58,745 subjects that investigated the longitudinal connection between depression and overweight or obesity.

The authors mentioned, “We found bidirectional associations between depression and obesity: obese persons had a 55 percent increased risk of developing depression over time, whereas depressed persons had a 58 percent increased risk of becoming obese. The association between depression and obesity was stronger than the association between depression and overweight, which reflects a dose-response gradient.”

Sub-analysis apparently illustrated that the link between obesity and later depression seems to be more distinct among Americans as opposed to Europeans, and stronger for identified depressive disorder against depressive symptoms.

Confirmation of a biological relation between overweight, obesity and depression apparently remains vague and complex, but numerous assumptions have been suggested. Obesity is said to be deemed as an inflammatory state, and inflammation may be related to the danger of depression.

Since thinness is believed to be the perfect figure for both United States and Europe, being overweight or obese may add to body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem that poses risk for depression. On the other hand, depression may augment weight eventually through intrusion with the endocrine system or the unfavorable consequences of antidepressant medication.

The authors concluded by mentioning that since 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.

The study is published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.