Depression and Disordered Eating in the Obese Person
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- Faulconbridge, L.F. & Bechtel, C.F. Curr Obes Rep (2014) 3: 127. doi:10.1007/s13679-013-0080-9
Three mental health problems commonly associated with obesity are major depression, binge eating disorder (BED), and night eating syndrome (NES). Evidence from both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies support independent relationships between obesity and depression, and between obesity and binge eating. These problems are most prevalent in severely obese individuals (class III obesity; a body mass index (BMI) of >40 kgm2), many of whom seek bariatric surgery, and we briefly review whether the presence of pre-operative depression, BED or NES affects post-operative outcomes. Historically depressed individuals have been screened out of weight loss trials due to concerns of worsening mood with weight loss. Such practices have precluded the development of effective treatments for depressed, obese individuals, leaving large numbers of people without appropriate care. We present recent advances in this area, and attempt to answer whether depressed individuals can lose clinically significant amounts of weight, show improvements in mood, and adhere to the demands of a weight loss intervention.