A recent meta-analysis published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that there is a link between depression and obesity and, conversely, a link between obesity and depression. Fifteen previous published studies were examined to determine the long-term relationship between depression and obesity. Researchers found that those participants that were obese “had a 55% increased risk of developing depression over time, whereas those that were depressed had a 58% increased risk of becoming obese.”
Although the research shows a relationship, more research must be conducted in order to really understand the roles between the two and to hatch out just how closely depression and obesity are related. The main theory is that obesity may be an inflammatory state—inflammation has been associated with the risk of depression. With our physically obsessed society, weight and self-esteem tend to go hand in hand. People that are obese may be insecure about their physical appearance, which can lower their self-esteem and cause depression. Furthermore depression, the research concluded, may lead to obesity. People that are depressed feel less tend to exercise less, eat less healthy, and engage in a lifestyle that could put them at a higher risk for gaining weight. Furthermore, weight gain is an unfortunate side effect of some anti-depressant medications used to treat depression
This study was trying to find a long-term relationship between obesity and depression, which could help doctors treat patients with one or both illnesses jointly. Furthermore, doctors may start to screen patients that are obese for depression. Additionally, part of treating depression may someday include encouraging patients to try and eat nutritious well-balanced meals. More research holds the promise of improving prevention and intervention concerning the two medical conditions.