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Obesity and Health Risks: Depression

What is depression?

Depression is a serious illness that should not be ignored. While a lot of people may feel sad and moody on occasions, people with depression may experience those feelings for prolonged periods of time and without definite reason. Depression discourages from active participation in day to day life and may it harder for people to function normally in social environments.

Is depression and obesity linked?

According to the researchers at the University of Adelaide,

“Doctors should pay more attention to the link between common mental illness and obesity in patients because the two health problems are closely linked. Obese people – especially those who perceive themselves as being overweight – often experience weight-related stigma and discrimination, and consequently present with symptoms of low self esteem, low self worth, and guilt. Obesity is associated with socioeconomic disadvantage and low levels of physical activity, both of which are strong predictors of depression. Obesity may constitute a chronic stressful state, which in turn can cause significant physiological dysfunction. Such dysfunction would then predispose individuals to depressed mood and associated symptoms.”

– Atlantis (2010). The UNiversity of Adelaide News and Events. Accessible at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/news35941.html

Bariatric procedure in treating depression caused by obesity

Individuals experience significant improvements in their depressive mood as well as reductions in the use of depression medications as a result of gastric banding surgery and significant weight loss results associated with bariatric procedure. According to various studies in obese people following gastric banding surgery, 74% of patients have reported significant improvements in their condition following excess weight loss. In fact, their weight loss was directly correlated with their improved mood.

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