Depression raises risk of obesity for low-income populations

10 March 2015

A new study has suggested there are significant links between depression, poor nutrition and a high body mass index (BMI).

Published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the findings suggest that better understanding the relationship between depression and diet could be important for reducing obesity rates.

The research looked at people assigned to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), who were all at a high risk of being obese and having poor nutrition. 

Dr Karen R Florez, who was the study's lead investigator and associate social scientist at the RAND corporation, said finding that depression is associated with even higher risk within this already high-risk group could lead to mental health could be a new avenue for intervention. 

The research found that depression was a strong predictor of both dietary quality and BMI in the study, which was conducted in two low-income neighbourhoods. Specifically, a higher score in depressive symptomatology was associated with lower scores in nutrition, as well as higher BMI scores.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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