There is an unclear relationship between depression and severe obesity.
In this study, physicians from Australia assessed depression both before and after surgically induced weight loss.
The 487 consecutive subjects completed Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) questionnaires before and after gastric-restrictive weight-loss surgery.
The team used BDI scores to identify predictors of depression. In addition, they used scores from the completed questionnaires to follow changes through time.
Furthermore, the team used 262 paired preoperative and 1-year postoperative scores to identify predictors of change in BDI score.
|Weight loss was associated with a fall in BDI scores.|
|Archives of Internal Medicine|
The physicians found that the mean preoperative BDI score was 17.7.
The team found that higher scores were found in younger subjects, women, and those with poorer body image.
There was no association identified between BDI and waist circumference or insulin concentrations. However, the team found that high scores correlated with poor physical and mental quality-of-life measures.
Furthermore, the physicians determined that weight loss was associated with a fall in BDI scores.
The greatest falls in BDI scores at 1 year were observed in women, younger subjects, and those who experienced greater excess weight loss.
In addition, the team found that a drop in BDI score correlated with improved appearance evaluation.
Dr John Dixon's team concluded, "Severely obese subjects, especially younger women with poor body image, are at high risk for depression".
"We found sustained improvement with weight loss".
"These findings also support the hypothesis that severe obesity causes or aggravates depression".