Recent studies have shown that between obesity and depression there is a strong link and that one may determine the other, as well as the other way around. That being said, obese people are more likely to experience symptoms of depression, as they perceive themselves as having poor health, and those that suffer from depression may become obese because of the hormonal changes that take place in their bodies. The most affected, according to the studies, are women and those with a high social and economic status. (Reference Link)
Depression can lead to obesity due to a variety of reasons. First of all, symptoms of depression often include an increased appetite, as well as inability to exercise or get involved in physical activities, which leads to increased body mass and gaining extra weight over time. Many people find a refuge and solace in food and they start eating because they feel sad or stressed. It is not uncommon for people that feel depressed to try to alleviate their feelings by eating more sweets, thus increasing their chances of becoming obese.
What do the numbers say?
According to numerous studies, obese people are more likely to become depressed. Figures show that obese people have a 20% higher chance of becoming depressed as well, and this number reaches 44% among those with a college education. Also, women seem to be more likely to become depressed because they are obese, as they see themselves as lacking attractiveness for the opposite sex and feel condemned to a life of solitude.
What are other sources for the connection?
The link between obesity and depression is very strong and it stems from different roots. For instance, an obese teenager is likely to become depressed because of the ridicule he or she is often exposed to. Especially for those that have a very hard time trying to lose weight, this ridicule can lead them to depression.
Obesity is linked with feelings of sadness, frustration and general dissatisfaction with life. Obese people often suffer from chronic pains in their joints, especially in the legs, hips and the back. These pains prevent them from exercising, and therefore, they find it very difficult to lose weight.
It is also common for obese people to experience discrimination in society. Feeling left aside, obese people are thrown into the arms of depression and getting rid of the excess weight and the feelings of depression can become very difficult for them.