The increasing weight, higher caloric intake and less physical activity common in obese people can also fuel depression, especially in white, middle-class, middle-aged women.
According to a study published in General Hospital Psychiatry, it’s a vicious cycle.
The more weight you gain, the more likely you are to become depressed. And the more you become depressed, the more trouble you have losing weight.
After studying over 4600 women from 40 to 65 years old, the researchers discovered that women with clinical depression were over 2 times more likely to be obese (with a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater).
Obese women were also over 2 times more likely to be depressed.
It didn’t matter if the women were married or single, smokers or nonsmokers. Their education levels and use of antidepressants didn’t affect the results, either.
The problem for these women appeared to be one of self-esteem and a feeling of hopelessness.
From these results, the researchers concluded that obese women should focus on rebuilding their self-esteem and their spirit while doctors should monitor overweight patients for depression and treat it as needed.