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Ind Psychiatry J. 2019 Jan-Jun;28(1):130-134. doi: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_59_19. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Is obesity a risk to depression? A cross-sectional study.

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Department of Psychiatrist, Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Department of Psychiatrist, Base Hospital Delhi Cantt, New Delhi, India.
Department of Community Medicine, Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



Depression and obesity are disorders of stress with a dose dependent relationship between the both. The adverse health and social consequences are significant, when depression and obesity co-exist. This study aimed to examine the prevalence of depression among overweight and obese patients in a large station of Armed Forces and associate other risk factors of depression.


This cross sectional descriptive study was conducted in the general OPD of large Station medicare centre (SMC) on overweight and obese personnel. Data was collected by self-administered Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) to assess the risk for depression over a period of one month.


In this study, out of 106 individuals, 71 (67%) were overweight and 35 (33%) were obese, as per WHO criteria. Of the individuals assessed, 13 (12%) individuals were found to have risk of moderate depression, 58 (54%) for mild depression and 35 (33%) individuals had no risk for clinically significant depression. The likelihood of depression was most strongly associated with BMI followed by age, status of living with family and habit of drinking alcohol.


Obesity and depressive disorders are common comorbidities with overlapping pathophysiology whose co-existence leads to exponential adverse health outcomes. The outcome of depression and obesity is to be managed comprehensively by psychological counseling and life style modification.


Depression; Patient Health Questionnaire-9; obesity; overweight

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