Dutch researchers confirm that obesity and depression share a unique link where each condition increases the risk for developing the other.
Researchers at Leiden University Medical Center analyzed data from 15 previously published studies. Together, these studies included information from more than 58,000 people.
Dr. Floriana S. Luppino and colleagues found that obesity increased the risk of developing depression by 55%. Researchers also discovered that people who were initially normal-weight but depressed were 58% more likely to become obese than normal-weight people who were not depressed. Luppino also noted that obesity is more likely to contribute to the onset of clinical depression as opposed to just depressive symptoms.
The study also looked at a potential link between depression and being overweight. Being overweight was shown to increase the risk of depression, but there was not a matching correlation between being depressed and the risk of being overweight. Depression, it seems, has a more significant impact on the risk for obesity than it does on the risk of becoming simply overweight.
An additional study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health appears to confirm the Dutch findings. The NIMH study found that as much as 25% of obesity cases are linked to some type of mood or anxiety disorder.