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Obese Teenage Girls Risk Depression

Obese Teenage Girls Risk DepressionNew research suggests obesity is a risk factor for depressive symptoms among some adolescent girls.

University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers have found that obesity is a risk factor for depressive symptoms, but not for clinical depression, suggesting that weight status could play a part in the development of depression in some adolescent girls.

“This is important, because depressive symptoms are considered a precursor to major depression,” said lead researcher Kerri Boutelle, PhD.

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.

The prevalence of obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased from 5.0 percent to 18.1 percent in 2008. Similarly, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual survey sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found that 2.0 million youths aged 12 to 17 experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2007.

Knowing that the teenage years are often a tumultuous period in a young person’s life, Boutelle and her colleagues set out to determine whether obesity contributes to the development of depression among youth.

This is in contrast to the well-documented conclusion that depression increases the risk of obesity.

Results of their study will appear in the journal Health Psychology.

Using a structured psychiatric interview test – the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children (K-SADS) – assessors gathered responses from almost 500 girls between the ages of 13 and 16 years, of various ethnicities.

To receive a diagnosis of depression, the girls had to report the presence and severity of at least five symptoms. At each of four yearly assessments, the girls were weighed and measured. Data from the interviews indicated that obese status was associated with an increase in depressive symptoms, but not major depression.

“Based on our findings, I would encourage parents, teachers and physicians to monitor overweight and obese girls for depressive symptoms, and refer them for evaluation if they are concerned,” said Boutelle.

This study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Source: University of California, San Diego Health Sciences

Obese Teenage Girls Risk Depression

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Obese Teenage Girls Risk Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 16, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/05/25/obese-teenage-girls-risk-depression/14047.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
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