Thursday, April 20, 2006

The very shaky "link" between obesity and depression

Today the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry published an article that the media has picked up upon that states that depression is more prevalent in obese patients.

The Montreal Gazette states, "Obesity-depression link is confirmed", CanWest News Service states, "Obesity, depression have same root causes, study suggests".

So what did the study state? It stated that 19% of obese Canadians were depressed compared with "only" 15% of the general population.

To me that sure doesn't seem like a slam-dunk difference.

There are many co-morbdities associated for obesity that apparently were not controlled that almost certainly could contribute to the development of depression. Things like pain from increased incidences of osteoarthritis, worry from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, bias and discrimination in the workplace, frustration with weight loss difficulties.

As well, the majority of medications used in the treatment of depression themselves directly lead to weight gain and while the medication induced weight gain is not always dramatic, it can be.

Bottom line for me is that there are a lot of realities commonly associated with obesity that are in and of themselves depressing and there are a lot of realities associated with the treatment of depression that are in and of themselves obesogenic.