Depression and obesity are commonly seen conditions with major health implications. They tend to co-occur within individuals. The relationship between obesity and depression is bidirectional, meaning the presence of one increases the risk for developing the other.
Depression can lead to overeating and weight gain; obesity can lead to overwhelming sadness and result in depression – It is a vicious cycle which needs intervention to break it. Studies have shown that overweight or obese people are about 25 per cent more likely to experience a psychological disorders like depression and body image issues compared with those who are not.
Depression and obesity are both chronic conditions that require consistent long term care and attention.
How obesity causes depression– Those who are obese can also find themselves ostracized, stereotyped, and discriminated against and can develop poor self-image, low self-esteem, and social isolation, all known contributors to depression.
How depression causes obesity- People experiencing depression are more likely to overeat or make poor food choices, avoid exercising, and become more sedentary.
Many of the Prevention strategies for obesity and depression overlap. You can reduce your risk for these condition if you:
- Stay active- Exercise is known to boost natural depression-fighting endorphins. Exercise is also advised by specialists for healthy weight loss and maintenance. Some research suggests that exercising at least once weekly can have a significant impact on depression symptoms
- Seek help -Therapy can be a wonderful approach for both obesity and depression. A trained professional like Psychologist along with a nutritionist and body weight trainer can help you in making suitable plans.
- Follow your treatment plans – If your doctor has diagnosed you to be having either condition, they will likely advise you dietary changes or make other suggestions for condition management. Sticking to these guidelines and being honest about your difficulties and challenges is the only way by which your health care provider will be able to understand and help you.
Dr. Afroze Fatima