Dr Arun Prasad, Senior consultant, GI & Bariatric Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi
Dr Arun Prasad, Senior consultant, GI & Bariatric Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi

Obesity and depression feed off each other

ANI | Updated: Dec 29, 2020 18:08 IST


New Delhi [India], December 29 (ANI/Mediawire): Depression and weight problems often go hand in hand - it's a vicious cycle you need to know about!
A study of 58,745 patients' data revealed that people with obesity had a 55 per cent increased risk of developing depression over time, and the depressed persons had a 58 per cent increased risk of obesity. Forty-three per cent of adults with depression already have obesity, and women numbering more in this group than men, as found by a national survey.
The suicide ideation in women with waist circumference of over 105cm is three times more than the women with that below 82.5cm.
The mental state, when obesity joins the party, is weakened by two real and debilitating attacks that run parallelly.
One attack is physiological - inside the body. Obesity causes joint pain, diabetes, blood pressure etc., which are also the risk factors for depression. Additionally, excessive body fat causes chronic inflammation in the brain that leads to mood and psychiatric disorders .
The other is from outside - the social stigma - how society treats people with obesity. 18.7% to 38% of people with obesity reported experiencing obesity stigma from their educators, employers, health professionals, the media, friends and family in a WHO (World Health Organization) study. Obesity stigma is associated with increased depression, anxiety and decreased self-esteem. It can also lead to disordered eating, avoidance of physical activity, and avoidance of medical care.
Will Weight Loss Improve The Mood Or Improving The Mood Help Weight-Loss?
It's not an 'either-or' question say some experts. For example, dieting alone may worsen mood, particularly when it causes a pattern of repeated dieting failure. Conversely, the most common pharmacological treatments for depression have the side effect of weight gain .
However, obesity seems to resist physical exercises more than depression. A study found that healthy-weight persons walked per day an average of 11,586 steps, non-depressed obesity patients did 7283 steps, and the depressed obesity patients, 6177 steps .
Hence the expert advise is to jointly address obesity and depression. If you are on medications for depressions, don't skip your tablets in pursuit of weight-loss.
The next step would be to understand obesity well.

What exactly is obesity?
Obesity is not just a cosmetic condition as popularly perceived. It's a complex, progressive and multifactorial disease that needs expert medical help to treat, just like clinical depression does.
Obesity is measured by BMI (Body Mass Index), which is a measure of your weight in relation to your height.
World Health Organization (WHO) considers a BMI more than 30 as Class 1 obesity . BMI above 35 is Class II- serious obesity, and BMI above 40 is class III- severe obesity. The Indian figures are 2.5 lower than these
Options For Lasting Obesity Solutions For Patients With Low Spirits
Most patients with obesity who have tried diet and exercise, have had some initial success, only to regain weight. This is not due to their lack of willpower or the wrong diet.
There is documented observation that even for a non- depressed obesity patient with a BMI greater than 35, the chances of reaching a normal body weight for a lasting period of time with diet and exercise alone is less than 1 per cent.
Minimally invasive bariatric weight-loss surgery might be an option if your BMI is above 32.5 with depression or any other obesity related co-morbidity; or if your BMI is more than 37.5 without any obesity related co-morbidity .
A study of 11,687 bariatric surgery patients with at least one psychiatric disorder found that a) their excess weight-loss was similar to those with no known mental health disorders, b) Quality of life improvement by 28 per cent to 32 per cent was as same, and c) among patients with depression, use of anti-depressant medication dropped by about 20 per cent one year after surgery and remained at that level after three years of follow-up .
Now-a-days due to COVID-19, many Bariatric Surgeons offer online consultations. One could book an appointment at a center of one's choice, and discuss the obesity issues with the expert doctor from the convenience of one's home.
Obesity can be treated with lasting results in patients with depression. The time to act against it is NOW!
Disclaimer: This article is sponsored by J&J in public interest. The views and opinions expressed in the article by participating doctors are based on their independent professional judgement. J&J (P) Ltd, BCCL and its group publications disclaim any liability for the accuracy or consequences flowing from adherence to their expert views.
This story is provided by Mediawire. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/Mediawire)

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