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Depression and Anxiety Can Lead to Weight Gain

Reviewed by Kimberly Cabe, FNP-BC of Forum Health Rochester Hills


We may never fully understand all the causes of obesity, but we’re one step closer now thanks to a study conducted in the U.K. This study followed more than 4000 people for 19 years, and examined the effects of mental and behavioral health on obesity. The results of this study confirmed what had long been suspected; depression and anxiety can absolutely lead to obesity.


Some common symptoms of depression include decreased motivation for physical activity and an increased appetite, so it’s no wonder that those who suffer from depression are also more likely to become obese. Interestingly, about 30 percent of the American population is obese, but if you look at the rate of obesity among those diagnosed with depression, the rate is nearly doubled.


Anxiety and other mental health issues affect the chances of obesity nearly as much. The British study concluded that the more mental health issues a person has, the greater the risk of obesity.


The anti-aging crusade, divorce, work problems, personal finances, illness and more are all things that happen in our daily lives that lead to stress, and stress can lead to depression and anxiety. Any mental health issue can have other serious ramifications in addition to obesity, and obesity leads to its own host of medical problems.


If you feel that you’re suffering from depression, anxiety or any other mental health issue, the first step to recovery is contacting your Forum Health practitioner. The sooner mental health issues are dealt with, the sooner you can get on the road to recovery and hopefully avoid weight gain.