Depression and Obesity

Depression has long been linked to obesity and weight gain.

In a review paper published in Translational Psychiatry, Professor Julio Licinio of the Department of Psychiatry at Flinders University in Australia and his colleagues point to animal studies carried out by his team in recent years that suggest there is a link between obesity, high fat diets and prior exposure to fluoxetine (the ingredient of Prozac) and imipramine.

Mounting evidence suggests the link between popular antidepressants and obesity should be investigated more closely, Australian researchers say.

Professor Licinio and his colleagues argue antidepressants could have a delayed effect on the weight management of people who eat high fat diets. “This is very worrisome because the number of people who have been exposed to antidepressants in the general population is immense,” Professor Licinio said.

If you’ve read my blogs over the last couple of years, you know that I’m a big proponent of using exercise to combat depression.  Scientific research also backs me up.

A study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, relied on a 1958 birth cohort from England, Scotland and Wales to examine the associations between physical activity and symptoms of depression over a span of 50 years for more than 10,000 people.

The study reaffirmed what prior research had suggested: “Routine physical activity appeared to reduce the likelihood of depressive symptoms and depression. Their relatively novel contribution was to note the reciprocal association: Depressive symptoms seemed to reduce the likelihood of current or future physical activity as well.”

Want to preserve your mind’s cognitive abilities? Exercise.

Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects and help to ward off cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease and help improve memory.

Routine physical activity can help prevent depression and stabilize mood, which in turn contributes to the motivation needed to keep exercising. So, exercising can improve your mental and physical health alike.

So, what are you waiting for?

To learn how Fitness for Health can help you improve your mind-body connection utilizing state-of-the-art fitness technology, visit www.FitnessForHealth.org or call 301-231-7138.