Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Obesity and depression
Past research has shown that being obese can increase people's risk of depression by between 50 and 150%. However, a new study by researchers from the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle suggests that the relationship can work both ways and that treating fat people's depression can also help them lose weight. The study of 203 women, aged between 40 and 65 divided them into two groups. Both groups focused on weight loss but one group also included a treatment for depression. After six months 38% of the women whose depression symptoms had improved had lost at least 5% of their body weight compared to only 21% of those who showed little improvement. Unfortunately there was little further change in either the women's weight or their depression when they were assessed after 12, 18 and 24 months.