Losing weight can help combat depression

Researchers in the USA have shown that obese or overweight patients who lose weight experience an improvement in symptoms of depression.

Weight loss studies do not normally include people suffering from clinical depression.  However, obesity is a well-known risk factor for depression.

Previous studies have shown that by losing even a small amount of weight, overweight people can improve their mental, as well as physical health.

The researchers reviewed 31 previous studies into weight loss, looking at the depressive symptoms before and after weight loss, how much weight was lost and what weight-loss programme was used.  They found that programmes based on diet and exercise were more effective on improving the symptoms of depression than medication, although the amount of weight lost did not seem to make a difference.

Dr Fabricatore said in the International Journal of Obesity: “There may be a threshold value that once you lose a certain amount of weight, your mood’s going to improve and losing more weight isn’t necessarily going to make it better”.

The authors of the report stress that weight loss is not in itself a substitute for treatment of clinical depression.

But for those with some symptoms of depression weight loss can improve their feelings of well-being.

David Ross, CEO of The Hospital Group, said: “Our patients do report that losing weight makes them feel much better about themselves.  They are fitter and slimmer, but also feel more positive and confident about life.  It is a complex area, but the physical and psychological impact of weight loss for the obese is significant.

"We offer a variety of weight loss programmes to suit different weight loss needs.  The most popular option is the gastric band, but we also offer the gastric sleeve  and bypass for higher BMI (Body Mass Index) patients.  In addition, we offer the gastric balloon, which is a non-surgical weight loss option to kick-start patients’ weight loss and help them to learn the healthy eating and exercise habits that they will need to maintain their success.

"The key point of difference with The Hospital Group is that whichever programme they choose, our patients receive one-to-one support from specialist dietitians.  They work alongside our patients to understand the deep-rooted food issues and help our patients learn healthier diets and smaller portion sizes after their weight loss procedures.  It’s a simple but effective approach – 99% of our patients lost weight.”

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