Risk of depression is higher in obese adults, study suggests


A new UK-based study suggested that the risk of depression is likely to be higher in those who are overweight.

The study based its results on adults who were overweight, to record the incidence of new cases of depression. Around 5,19,500 adults who were overweight or obese between the years 2000-2016 were followed up until 2019. The incidence of new cases of depression was found to be 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Researchers also found that antidepressants were prescribed for approximately two-thirds of adults who were obese or overweight. Prescriptions for fluoxetine (a type of antidepressant commonly used to treat depression, obsessive compulsive disorder or bulimia) dropped over time from 20.4 per cent in 2000 to 8.8 per cent in 2018, while that for sertraline (another antidepressant) increased from 4.3 per cent in 2000 to 38.9 per cent in 2018).

“Our findings highlight the complex relationship between depression and obesity,” lead author Freya Tyrer, University of Leicester, UK, was quoted as saying.

“We would like to see tailored guidance of antidepressant prescribing and services that focus on both mood and behaviours to improve outcomes for these individuals,” the author added.