The Links Between Obesity and Depression

Obesity and depression are common conditions, and they’re often found together. There are a number of possible reasons for this, including the fact that many medications for depression list weight gain as a possible side effect.

Studies have identified a link between obesity and depression. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that 43% of adults with depression were obese, and that adults with depression were more likely to be obese. An analysis of previous studies, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, connected obesity to an increased risk of developing depression, and vice versa.

What is obesity?

Although many people are overweight, obesity is a medical term that means you’re significantly overweight. Obesity is defined as having a body mass index over 30. Body mass index is a calculation that’s based on your weight and height. 

What is depression?

Although most people feel sad now and then, depression is a much more serious, chronic condition. Depression is marked by:

If you’re experiencing depression, you may not have all of these symptoms, but you’re likely to have some of them.

The links between obesity and depression


A number of medications are commonly prescribed for depression that can cause weight gain, including tricyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. If you’re suffering from depression and struggling with weight gain, you can ask your doctor if there’s another antidepressant that might work as well without this side effect. 


Stress and anxiety can be significant factors in depression. Similarly, being in stressful situations causes your body to release high levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that also results in an increase in your levels of insulin, which in turn causes your blood sugar to drop. As a result, when you’re stressed, you crave high-calorie, sugary, and fat-filled foods.


Healthy eating habits can help treat your depression and your obesity. However, diets can also result in disordered, unhealthy eating patterns such as fasting and bingeing that can have negative effects on your body and your brain. In addition, if you’re not able to adhere to your diet, the resulting guilt and frustration can worsen your symptoms of depression. 

Bad sleep

Quality sleep is important for your body and your mind, especially if you’re depressed and obese. Studies have found a connection between lack of sleep and obesity. One of the common side effects of depression is an inability to fall asleep or sleep deeply. 

Seek professional help

Because obesity and depression are closely linked, many of the treatments for one can help with the other. A number of lifestyle changes, such as getting regular exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet, can help treat depression and obesity at the same time, while improving your overall wellness. 

At Low Testosterone & Weight Loss Center, with locations in Allen and Frisco, Texas, we provide you with customized weight loss programs that help you meet your goals. Our experienced staff employs a number of treatment options, including medications and injections that boost your metabolism and decrease your food cravings. We find treatments that work for you!  

Call Low Testosterone & Weight Loss Center today, or book your appointment online.

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