‘Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes!’ It is easier said than felt when the dream dress does not fit in, due to being overweight. Certain emotions attached to one’s body can cause a great deal of psychological imbalance for the person.
The question is, whether being obese can be a reason to trigger depression or the story is the other way round. The co-relation between the two has been answered by many types of research and socio-scientific studies.
The recent years of widespread awareness about obesity have made tangible changes in the outlook of people towards having excessive body fat. The World Health Organization recognizes obesity as a chronic progressive disease resulting in multiple health problems. It is no longer just a cosmetic issue in medical terms and comes with serious consequences.
Obesity and Depression
But, with globalization and social media rush, self-image has become a great trend. Fixed parameters for beauty have been set which definitely do not include obesity. And thus obesity is usually stereotyped and ostracized in a negative way. For an obese person, his or her body becomes a source of a poor self-image, low self-esteem and can cause social isolation, which are the established pathways to depression.
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, 2009 2015 shows that people who underwent bariatric surgery to cut fat out of their bodies reported having experienced a reduction in depression. On an average, losing 77% of body weight led to a loss of 18% in depressive feelings. That shows a direct and proportional relation between being obese and facing depression.
But the story doesn’t end here, the both way transaction of it establishes this relationship even more strongly.
A Result of Depression
A research document released by the Cambridge University Press in 2009 stated in bold that teenagers with symptoms of depression are more likely to become obese. Depression criteria for teenagers include depressed mood, anhedonia, fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, changes in sleep and appetite or psychomotor activity.
As an escape, the teenagers take to eating more, and the results are poor food habits, lazy behavior and improper sleep cycles which ultimately cause obesity.
With all the hormonal ups and downs that a teenager faces, obesity adds on to the weight, both physically and mentally.
In every age group, women with depression are more likely to be obese than women without depression.
Obesity and depression are both related with many health risks, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and functional limitations. Studies have shown higher rates of obesity in persons with depression.
An Open Relationship
Not much is hidden in the interdependent relation between the two – depression and obesity. The functional relation between them shows a co-occurrence as in a biological psychiatry connecting the string, although the treatment processes are not equally achievable for both ends.
Treatment of depression is an easier path to curb obesity than the other way round. Medical professionals suggest psychotherapy or antidepressants are a great help to curb both simultaneously.