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Obes Facts. 2009;2(4):227-34. doi: 10.1159/000226278. Epub 2009 Aug 17.

Depression and anxiety: their predictive function for weight loss in obese individuals.

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Abteilung fur Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie, LWL-Klinik Dortmund, Universitatsklinikum der Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Dortmund, Germany.



To investigate the impact of current mental disorders on weight loss with special consideration of depressive and/or anxiety disorders as well as binge eating behavior in obese individuals undergoing different weight loss treatments.


Three different samples of obese individuals were investigated in a prospective, longitudinal study: participants in a conventional weight loss treatment program (CONV TREAT; n = 250), obesity surgery patients (OBES SURG; n = 153), and obese control individuals (OC; n = 128). Current mental disorders and BMI were assessed at baseline and at 4-year follow-up.


OBES SURG patients with a depressive and/or anxiety disorder lost significantly less weight compared with those without a comorbid mental diagnosis. This result was not detected for CONV TREAT participants. A trend to gain weight was seen in OC participants with a depressive and/or anxiety disorder, whereas OC participants without current mental disorders at baseline lost some weight. Binge eating behavior at baseline did not predict weight loss at 4-year followup.


These results underline the importance of addressing current depressive and anxiety disorders in obese patients, especially when such patients are undergoing obesity surgery.

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