New research suggests that both physical health and social factors impact mental health in people who are overweight or considered obese. A recent study found that having a higher body mass index (BMI) increased the likelihood of depression. That may be because obesity and depression have a bidirectional relationship — that is, having obesity does appear to cause depression, and depression does cause obesity, says Roger S. McIntyre, MD, a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto.
The truth about obesity and depression
16 Sep 2023 by Ted Escobedo
2 min read
Depression and obesity are both multifactorial — there’s not just one cause for either condition, says McIntyre. “When one looks at how obesity causes depression, immediately what jumps out is social and environmental determinants. For example, if a person has insufficient access to healthy food due to economic insecurity, that would be a factor related to both obesity and depression,” he says.
Childhood trauma in the form of abuse or neglect is another factor that predisposes someone to obesity, depression, or both, says McIntyre.