Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Obesity, Depression Often Coexist In Middle-Aged Women

Date:
January 12, 2008
Source:
Center for the Advancement of Health
Summary:
Middle-aged women are much more likely to be depressed if they are obese, and vice versa, a new study finds. Rising excess weight goes along with less physical activity, higher calorie intake -- and depression -- according to the research. What is the reason? Depression and obesity likely fuel one another. "When people gain weight, they're more likely to become depressed, and when they get depressed, they have more trouble losing weight," said a psychiatrist working on the study.

Middle-aged women are much more likely to be depressed if they are obese, and vice versa, a new study finds. Rising excess weight goes along with less physical activity, higher calorie intake — and depression — according to the research.

What is the reason? Depression and obesity likely fuel one another, said lead author Gregory Simon, M.D. “When people gain weight, they’re more likely to become depressed, and when they get depressed, they have more trouble losing weight,” said Simon, a psychiatrist and researcher at Group Health Cooperative in Seattle.

In the study, published in the January/February issue of General Hospital Psychiatry, researchers interviewed 4,641 female health-plan enrollees, ages 40 to 65, by phone. The women responded to items on height, weight, exercise levels, dietary habits and body image. They also completed the Patient Health Questionnaire, a measure of depression symptoms.

Women with clinical depression were more than twice as likely to be obese, defined as having a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or more; likewise, obese women were more than twice as likely to be depressed.

Moreover, women with BMIs at or above 30 exercised the least, had the poorest body image and ingested 20 percent more calories than those with lower BMIs. The depression-obesity association held even when the researchers controlled for marital status, education, tobacco use and antidepressant use.

The association was stronger in this study than in previous, comparable ones — possibly because the sample was predominantly white and middle-class, Simon said: “There is some evidence that being overweight is less stigmatized for men, for lower-income people and for women in nonwhite ethnic groups.”

The stigma of being overweight could hurt self-esteem, and thus, efforts to lose weight, Simon said. “It’s not that these women are clueless,” he said. “It’s that they’re hopeless.”

The takeaway for obese women is to focus on rebuilding their spirit, which can help with losing pounds, he said.

Health care providers should glean a similar message from the study results, said Richard Rubin, Ph.D., a Johns Hopkins University psychologist. “Providers need to monitor for depression and treat it in overweight individuals, especially given the dramatically increased risk of diabetes among those who are overweight,” said Rubin, former president for health care and education of the American Diabetes Association.

General Hospital Psychiatry is a peer-reviewed research journal published bimonthly by Elsevier Science. For information about the journal, contact Wayne Katon, M.D., at (206) 543-7177.

Simon GE, et al. Association between obesity and depression in middle-aged women. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 30(1), 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center for the Advancement of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center for the Advancement of Health. "Obesity, Depression Often Coexist In Middle-Aged Women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080111203750.htm>.
Center for the Advancement of Health. (2008, January 12). Obesity, Depression Often Coexist In Middle-Aged Women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080111203750.htm
Center for the Advancement of Health. "Obesity, Depression Often Coexist In Middle-Aged Women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080111203750.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins