Monday, March 29, 2010

Fit Question: Weight Gain and Depression - Which Came First?

Depression is frustratingly common and difficult to manage, even with the tools we have like exercise, medication and therapy. What makes it even harder is that many people who are depressed gain weight...or is it that people who gain weight get depressed?
That's the question one study asked in the March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. In this meta-analysis, which involves researchers going through previously published studies and analyzing them, researchers found that being obese increases the risk of depression and that being depressed can contribute to developing obesity.
In fact, obese people had a 55% increased risk of depression, while depressed people had a 58% increased risk of becoming obese.
While I don't think these results are terribly surprising considering the mental and physical toll that both depression and obesity can take on you, I do think this is important information. As the authors of the study suggest, doctors should be aware that weight should be monitored in depressed patients and that mood should be monitored in overweight patients. Tackling these issues head on may help prevent these problems or at least lead to early detection before things get out of hand.
What do you think? If you've experienced depression, how did it (or does it) affect your weight? And on the other hand, if you've experienced obesity, how did it (or does it) affect your mood and psychological state? Do depression and obesity go hand in hand and can we prevent them? Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts about obesity and depression.
Fit Question: Weight Gain and Depression - Which Came First? originally appeared on Exercise on Friday, March 12th, 2010 at 05:00:10.

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