Health Status, Not Obesity, Raises Depression Risk
The Voice of the American Psychiatric Association and the Psychiatric Community
Can being obese make you depressed? It all depends on other aspects of health. British researchers looked at 3,851 men and women in the English Longitudinal Study of Aging to examine the effects of obesity with and without cardiometabolic risk factors. About 28 percent of the subjects were obese, and 34 percent of those were metabolically healthy—without problems with their blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, glycated hemoglobin, or C-reactive protein. Abnormalities in two or more of those factors rendered subjects “unhealthy.”

Assessment for depression at baseline and after two years showed that metabolically unhealthy obese participants had a significantly elevated risk of depressive symptoms at follow-up, but the metabolically healthy obese persons did not, wrote Mark Hamer, PhD., of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London, and colleagues, in the September Molecular Psychiatry.