Palace of Depression

Obesity and Depression — Co-Conspirators

A new study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (JAND) points to obesity and depression as co-conspirators undermining the health of people in low-income neighborhoods characterized as food deserts.

In a sample of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) participants, Karen Flórez and colleagues examined the relationship between depression, dietary quality, and body mass index. They found that higher scores on depression predicted both higher BMI and lower dietary quality.

These observations offer further insight into why depression can make obesity so much harder to overcome. And then there is the understanding that adverse childhood experiences are an important risk factor for depression, as well as it is for obesity. Cause and effect are so intertwined in this situation that they may never be pulled apart.

But it paints an increasingly clear picture about why simplistic efforts to urge people to move more and eat better are not moving the needle on obesity in these communities. Simply building grocery stores in food deserts does relatively little. The real surprise would be if anyone thought addressing just one of these factors could solve the problem.

This is why you can’t prevent obesity in children if you don’t treat it in adults. This is why whole communities have to engage in finding genuine solutions to the inseparable problems of economic, mental, and physical health.

Click here to read more from HealthDay and here to read the study in JAND. And here you can read a systematic review of abdominal obesity and depression in the general population.

Palace of Depression, vintage postcard © wackystuff / flickr

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2 Responses to “Obesity and Depression — Co-Conspirators”

  1. March 22, 2015 at 1:33 pm, Enrique Sanchez said:

    There is nothing worse, then going through hell of depression. I felt for a long time like I am hanging between life and death. It was very debilitating, and prevented me of having a proper life, for years. Breathing and having a pulse is not life for real. It took me a while, but I managed to teach myself how to push trough the day, and keep on fighting.

    In the end, it all comes down to helping yourself get up and fight, because without that no one can truly help you, no matter how much they would want to. I recommend something that has helped me a lot. It is James Gordon’s system at:

    He is a former depression sufferer, and teaches a totally natural 7 step process which relieves depression from your life.

    • March 22, 2015 at 1:46 pm, Ted said:

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Enrique.