Are Obesity and Depression Related?

Table of Contents

Obesity is a complex disease defined as excessive fat deposition in the body causing risk to the health of the individual. Depression is one of them. Studies have revealed that obese people are at higher risk for depression as compared with the normal healthy.

The journey of obesity usually starts from childhood the key players being lack of exercise, irregular dietary pattern and the wrong selection of food. Large intake of fast foods, fried or energy rich foods contribute extensively in developing obesity. According to studies on this subject, it has been identified that obese adolescent girls are more prone to develop depression than obese adolescent boys.

Some of the handpicked reasons which may trigger depression in the obese can be their struggle to accomplish the daily activities, low self-esteem or self-image, their unsuccessful attempts to reduce their body weight and the raising health problems that would pose a challenge in future.

Recent studies have highlighted that people with higher BMI lead to the thinning of the cortex in the brain which further leads to Alzheimer’s Disease. In order to avoid this, it is advised to always maintain a normal body mass index from childhood and if you are already obese the need to lose weight hits your priority list.

Ref: https://www.ndtv.com/health/obesity-and-brain-health-excess-weight-may-accelerate-brain-ageing-tips-to-prevent-obesity-2075722

Obesity and depression the two serious health problems faced by adolescents today, both carry a risk of acquiring cardiovascular disease at an early age if not attended. Intensive studies on the link between the two have concluded the following reason why depression is more common in the obese.

Researchers have identified that peer victimization occurs more in obese than in non obese and is a predictor of depression. The  obese adolescents are at a higher risk, to develop it.

Body dissatisfaction is another major predictor of depression which plays a vital role in escalating depression among the college students especially the girls.

Low self esteem due to inability to perform the daily activities, teasing by others, social isolation and continuous dissatisfaction with their own appearance are instrumental in amplifying depression in the Obese adolescents.

In normal weight persons the fat tissues contain fat cells but in obese the fat tissue is filled with macrophages, that ingest foreign material and pathogens thus releasing inflammatory hormones to continuously activate the immune system creating a chronic inflammatory state which is associated with depression.  Ref: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3749079/

A another genetic study on the genes of the obese revealed that they were strongly associated with depression which finally suggests that overweight causes depression.

Ref: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181112095951.htm

On the other hand depression pressurizes the individual to choose a sedentary life with eating as the only activity to satisfy its wants, thus leading to Obesity. They both tend to feed each other in a destructive circle.

Ref: https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/depression-and-obesity.aspx

A study conducted on people who underwent weight loss surgery for obesity found that they were successful in reducing their weight and shedding their depression.

The message to all obese is to address your health issues with doctor on a priority basis and religiously follow the advice to get back to normal.

If you are normal avoid overeating, excessive intake of fast foods etc, follow a dietary pattern, and exercise your body to digest the food taken. Eat healthy and stay healthy.

Food for thought:            FIGHT OBESITY AND DEPRESSION. BEFORE IT CONTROLS YOU

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Dr. Tulip

Dr. Tulip is an advanced laparoscopic and Bariatric surgeon practicing in Bangalore at TODS- Dr. Tulips Obesity and Diabetes Surgery Centre

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