Study Says Depression Treatment Can Help Women Lose Weight
December 29, 2010 by Special To Personal Liberty
Depression is an emotional disorder that prevents millions of Americans from enjoying life's greatest pleasures. Individuals who suffer from depression typically have low self-esteem and struggle to perform tasks that most people consider routine.
According to a new study, women who receive treatment for depression are more likely to lose weight. Researchers in Seattle examined 203 women between the ages of 40 and 65 who had an average body mass index (BMI) of 38.3. An individual with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.
Each woman in the study underwent baseline tests to measure their weight, level of depression, physical activity and diet. The group received treatment for their depression over a 12-month period, which included up to 26 group sessions. Among the women who saw their depression levels decrease, approximately 38 percent lost at least 5 percent of their body weight over six months.
"This study further underscores the importance of screening for depression in such programs that can potentially lead to both physical and psychological well-being," said Babak Roshanaei-Moghaddam, of the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at the University of Washington.
The study's lead author, Gregory Simon of the Group Health Research Institute, said that the relationship between depression and physical activity goes in both directions. Increased activity can lead to a better mood, and an improvement in depression can lead to more activity, he said. Although both are linked, Simon said that his team was unable to decipher which factor is more likely to cause the other to improve or worsen.