There are currently approximately 69% of the total 321,000,000 people in the United States that suffer from either overweight or obesity. Excess weight that leads to the condition, measured according to the patients’ Body Mass Index (BMI), creates stress in the body that can also provoke the development of a series of other related diseases or comorbidities, including heart disease, asthma, sleep apnea, stroke, and cancer. Depression and obesity are often diagnosed as comorbidities, and depression can either be a cause or a consequence of obesity.

Depression and Obesity: Development of Depression by Obese Patients

Obesity is able to both trigger and influence depression, while depression can also do the same with obesity, which is both diseases are often associated, particularly among women. Female obesity has been connected to a 37% increased probability of developing depression, as well as a higher likelihood to have suicidal thoughts. Stress and depression are closely connected as well, which also explains alterations in eating habits and the development of obesity. Similarly, emotional events can also provoke depression.

Obesity-Related Depression Prevention

Preventing depression in obesity patients is not easy, but the disease may be avoided by paying attention to the signs in order to improve early detection. Feeling helpless or hopeless, losing interest in daily activities, alterations in appetite or weight, alterations of the sleeping habits, anger or irritability, loss of energy, self-loathing, reckless behavior, difficulties in concentration, or unexplained aches and pains are common symptoms associated to depression.

An increasing amount of research is being done into depression and obesity as well. The study “Overweight, obesity, and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal studies” demonstrated that obesity increases the risk of depression, while depression is predictive of developing obesity. Depression and obesity have shared risk factors, including low socioeconomic class and low levels of physical activity. That way, increasing the exercise habits and conducting an healthy diet may also help decrease the risk of depression.

Depression Treatment by Obese Patients

The treatment of depression and obesity is related to the treatment of the excessive weight itself, and there are a series of medically-supervised weight loss methods, including diet and exercise, pre-packed meals, pharmacotherapy and surgery. By decreasing the BMI, patients may be able to decrease the risk of not only depression, but also numerous other conditions. A team medical approach, with the help of nutritionists and psychotherapists can help treat both the physical and mental problem. Medication may be recommended in some cases.

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