Obesity and mental health

National Obesity Observatory
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This paper provides an overview of current evidence on the relationship between obesity and mental health for adults and children in the UK. It draws particular attention to associations between common mental health disorders and obesity, and the risk factors associated with obesity and mental health. It addresses issues around inequalities, the implications of psychological distress caused by weight related stigma and discrimination. Key points show that both obesity and common mental health disorders account for a significant proportion of the global burden of disease. The mental health of women is more closely affected by overweight and obesity than that of men, and there is strong evidence to suggest an association between obesity and poor mental health in teenagers and adults. This evidence is weaker for younger children. Finally, intervention strategies should consider both the physical and mental health of patients. It has been recommended that care providers should monitor the weight of depressive patients and, similarly, in overweight or obese patients, mood should be monitored. This awareness could lead to prevention, early detection, and co-treatment for people at risk, ultimately reducing the burden of both conditions. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
intervention, mental health problems, obesity, risk, young people, adults, children;
Content type:
research review
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