There is an article about depression and weight in this month’s issue of WeightWatchers Magazine (May 2010), which incidentally, I read because I am currently weight watching and I find it a good source of recipes and inspiration. Apparently, a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry showed that depression is 25 % more common in obese people than those of a healthy weight. What the study doesn’t address is whether they are depressed because of their size, or whether they got to be big because they felt down and ate to comfort themselves. Emotional eating is a big problem for me. In bleak moments I sometimes find myself roving around the kitchen in a semi trance looking for something salty/fatty/ sugary to devour. I have no idea where the idea that this will help comes from, but food is often my first port of call when I’m sad or bored or stressed.
I don’t think thin people are necessarily happier, but speaking personally, I feel much better about myself and life generally when I am in control of my eating. A healthy diet has a direct impact on our well being- there is plenty of evidence that too much sugar plays havoc with your mood, as well as the more basic fact that self discipline can help us to stay on an even keel.
What do you think? Are people depressed because they are fat, or fat because they are depressed? Or is the suggestion that there is even a connection making you angry?