Obesity, depression inseparable companions: study

June 3rd, 2008 - 1:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 3 (IANS) Obesity and depression are like the two sides of a coin, virtually inseparable, according to a new study. When one is present, the other cannot be far behind, found the study which concluded that people who are fat often end up depressed - and people who are depressed may expand horizontally.

Obese people are more likely to become depressed because they see themselves being in poor health and are upset over the way they look.

This was particularly prevalent among women and those of high socio-economic status, according to the study, published in the latest issue of the journal Clinical Psychology.

At the same time, people who are depressed may be more likely to become obese because of physiological changes in their hormone and immune systems that occur in depression.

Also, they have more difficulty taking good care of themselves because of symptoms and consequences of depression, such as difficulty adhering to fitness regiments, overeating, and having negative thoughts.

Treatments such as exercise and stress reduction can help to manage both obesity and depression at the same time. Potentially, dieting, which can worsen mood, and antidepressants, which can cause weight gain, should be minimised.

“The treatment of depression and obesity should be integrated,” the study concluded.

“This way, healthcare providers are working together to treat both conditions, rather than each in isolation.”

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