According to a recent study, people with current depression or a previous diagnosis of depression were 60 percent more likely to be obese. Those with an anxiety disorder were 30 percent more likely to be obese.
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.
Treatments such as exercise and stress reduction can help to manage both obesity and depression at the same time. Dieting, which can worsen mood, and antidepressants, which can cause weight gain, should be minimized.
“The treatment of depression and obesity should be integrated,” the authors conclude. “This way, healthcare providers are working together to treat both conditions, rather than each in isolation.”