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The Double Epidemic: Mental Illness & Obesity

What is the link between depression and anxiety? If you are concerned about both, how do you address them both at the same time? Which came first? These are a few of the complex questions that many people face. Statistics show that about 43% of adults with depression have obesity (compared to all adults in America, of which 32% have obesity). Conversely, studies show that people with obesity have a 55% greater risk of developing depression. Thus, the relationship is said to be “bidirectional”, or go both ways. That is to say, depression increases the risk of obesity, and obesity increases the risk of depression. Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable death, and depression leads to a very large burden of disease, so it is important to think not only about each condition separately, but that important space where they coexist.

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