Correlation between Depression and Weight Gain

Updated at: May 16, 2012
Correlation between Depression and Weight Gain

Depression and weight gain: the underlying cause of weight gain could be depression.

Himanshu Sharma
Weight ManagementWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: May 16, 2012

Does depression cause weight gain or does being overweight cause depression? Depression and weight are closely related to each other. To be specific, one of the symptoms of depression is weight gain. In other words, weight gain is one of the consequences of depression. The correlation exists in the form of some of us hogging on when get caught in emotional issues such as feelings of loneliness, sadness and isolation.

As per a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, depression-obesity connection was observed in both men as well as women. The study accounted factors such as depression symptoms, depression history and psychological distress to observe body weight. A similar report published in American Journal of Public Health indicated that depressive symptoms had direct impact on BMI and waist circumference, the two reasons of considerable weight gain.

Eating Habits

In most cases, eating habits are liable for the weight gain. Individuals turn to eating to forget their problems of life. Delicious foods make us feel happy. Increased craving and consumption of food while experiencing a loss of interest in physical activities puts us on the heavier side of the weighing scale. This becomes a never-ending cycle when increased body weight becomes another concern to increase depression. One continues to eat to cover his/her emotions.

Hormonal Trigger

Stress hormones are another reason for a sudden and substantial weight gain. Our bodies release a hormone known as ‘cortisol’ when we experience stress. This hormone is also responsible for accumulation of fat at various regions of the body, especially the abdominal area. In stressful circumstances, our body is more conditioned to accumulate fat.

Dietary Intervention

Marred by depression, we keep on eating without realising the after effects. We may be relieved by the comfort provided by delicious food temporarily, but end up losing the drive or energy to engage in physical activities to nullify the effect of overeating.

To balance the equation, it is important to be involved in physical activities. If you are not able to spare time for physical exercises, engage in daily tasks such as cleaning. Besides, you may also ask your friends and family to help you in following healthy eating plans.

Medical Intervention

Anti-psychotic drugs, which include anti-depressants and mood stabilisers, should be chosen carefully. It is important to reduce stress with medications with less side-effect, weight gain being one of these.



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