“Prospective Association Between Obesity and Depression: Evidence from the Alameda County Study,”

School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 77225, USA.
International Journal of Obesity (Impact Factor: 5). 04/2003; 27(4):514-21. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0802204
Source: PubMed


To examine the temporal relation between obesity and depression to determine if each constitutes a risk factor for the other.
A two-wave, 5-y-observational study with all measures at both times.
A total of 2123 subjects, 50 y of age and older, who participated in the 1994 and 1999 waves of the Alameda County Study.
Obesity defined as body mass index (BMI)> or =30. Depression assessed using DSM-IV symptom criteria for major depressive episodes. Covariates include indicators of age, gender, education, marital status, social support, life events, physical health problems, and functional limitations.
Obesity at baseline was associated with increased risk of depression 5 y later, even after controlling for depression at baseline and an array of covariates. The reverse was not true; depression did not increase the risk of future obesity.
These results, the first ever on reciprocal effects between obesity and depression, add to a growing body of evidence concerning the adverse effects of obesity on mental health. More studies are needed on the relation between obesity and mental health and implications for prevention and treatment.

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    • "Obese individuals are at increased risk of developing depression (25, 26), and this risk is doubled in the presence of diabetes (Anderson et al., 2001; De Groot et al., 2001; Labad et al., 2010). Depressed mood is also associated with abdominal obesity and poor diet (Roberts et al., 2003; Dong et al., 2004; Simon et al., 2006; Luppino et al., 2010; Zhao et al., 2011; Hamer et al., 2012). A link between obesity and depression has been found in animal models of mood disorders (Lombard, 2000; Pawels and Volterrani, 2008; Dallman et al., 2003, 2005; Singh et al., 2007, 2009, 2011; Dallman, 2010; Chuang et al., 2011; Diz-Chaves, 2011; Maniam and Morris, 2012; Spence and Courbasson, 2012; Akubuiro et al., 2013; Kumar et al., 2013), suggesting that a common signaling pathway may underlie these phenotypes in both humans and animals. "
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    • "Findings for other mental illnesses are similar, with links between obesity and both mood and anxiety disorders [13]–[17]. Most prospective studies have focused on relationships between anxiety or depression in adolescence and obesity in either later adolescence [24], [30]–[32] or early adulthood [18]–[22] with only a few examining adult depression and later obesity [12], [25], [26], [33]. In studies of adulthood, follow up periods have generally been short and while some have demonstrated relationships between depression and later obesity [25], [33], others have shown only associations at baseline [12], [26]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose Some mental illnesses have been suggested to be associated with obesity, although results are somewhat inconsistent and research has focused mainly on depression. Methods Associations between anxiety, depression, medications for these illnesses, and obesity were investigated cross-sectionally among women aged 25–74 (n = 3004) who participated as population controls in a cancer case-control study. Participants self-reported information on anxiety, depression, height, current weight and weight at age 25. Results No association was observed between either anxiety or depression and either current overweight or obesity status. However, depressed women taking antidepressants were more likely to be obese [OR = 1.71 (95%CI = 1.16–2.52) daily antidepressant use; OR = 1.89 (95%CI = 1.21–2.96) ever tricyclic antidepressant use]. In the full study sample consistent positive associations between anxiety, depression and obesity among women with a history of antidepressant use, and generally negative associations among women without, were suggested. Finally, weight gain was associated with history of anxiety [5–19 kg OR = 1.29 (95% CI = 1.06–1.57); ≥20 kg OR = 1.43 (95% CI = 1.08–1.88)] and depression [≥20 kg OR = 1.28 (95% CI = 0.99–1.65)]. Conclusions These results suggest depression and anxiety may be associated with weight gain and antidepressant use may be associated with obesity.
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