Depression and Obesity: A Literature Review

Rebecca Renae Marshall


The purpose of this paper is to review past research literature regarding the relationship between depression and obesity. Three common themes found in past research are discussed in depth, these include: investigating the trend in the association between depression and obesity, if obesity can lead to later development of depression, and whether depression can lead to later development of obesity. After analyzing and synthesizing past research results, new associations were discovered: there is a u-shaped trend between BMI and depression, and proper categorical BMI should be used regarding this relationship; there is a possible causal relationship between obesity and subsequent depression, especially in boys; and there is a possible causal relationship between depression and subsequent obesity, especially in girls. In conclusion, opportunities for further research were discovered. Future studies need to investigate the exact causal relationships between obesity and depression, the gender interaction on risk factors, and possible ethnic variations in depression and BMI. Further understanding the exact relationship between depression and obesity could have important clinical implications in terms of treatment and prevention; thus, decreasing the high prevalence of their comorbidity.

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ISSN: 2325-0917