Response to colleague

Sensitivity of Obesity

YesterdayJul 27 at 4:15pm

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    Weight is a touchy subject for many people, so the provider will need to be very nonjudgmental and respectful when discussing it. Milano et al. (2020) state that studies have shown a link between obesity and depression; if a person has one, they are at high risk of developing the other. Currently, the patient is dealing with both problems. A study by Alhalel, Schueller & O’Brien (2018) found that weight loss is associated with improvements in mental health symptoms. So, I would educate the patient on the importance of losing weight and how it can positively impact her mental health and overall health in general. I would tell the patient to start by making small weekly diet changes and getting some exercise, even if that means walking around the house more or anything that can get her up and moving more than usual.(Sensitivity of Obesity)


Alhalel, N., Schueller, S. M., & O’Brien, M. J. (2018). Association of changes in mental health with weight loss during intensive lifestyle intervention: does the timing matter?. Obesity science & practice, 4(2), 153–158.

Milano, W., Ambrosio, P., Carizzone, F., De Biasio, V., Di Munzio, W., Foia, M. G., & Capasso, A. (2020, June 14). Depression and obesity: Analysis of common biomarkers. MDPI.


Sensitivity of Obesity-Solution

Response to Colleague

Hi Alora,

I agree with your observation on the sensitive nature of obesity and the need for healthcare providers to remain non-judgmental in caring for obese patients. Rao et al. (2020) illustrate that obesity is judged as a consequence of an individual’s laziness, lack of self-discipline, and failure to comply with weight loss interventions. I want to expand on the link between obesity and depression, including how it exacerbates the patient’s treatment process. Obesity influences the development of mental health problems, especially depression, owing to the inability of obese individuals to cope with the contemptuous perceptions about excess weight gain (Rao et al., 2020). For instance, obese individuals get socially isolated due to their inability to perform physical or functional activities effectively. They fail to attend social events or visit friends, which causes loneliness, and the eventual development of depression. Besides, negative stereotypes about obesity also increase an individual’s risk of developing depression (Lv et al., 2022). The bias and discrimination reduce the patient’s self-esteem and hinder them from coping well with the treatment interventions.(Sensitivity of Obesity)

Similarly, depression also causes obesity by compelling the patient to cope with the problem by consuming huge amounts of food or making poor dietary choices, resulting in uncontrolled weight gain. Additionally, depressed patients exhibit higher cravings for carbohydrates due to serotonin deficiency. According to He et al. (2022), unbalanced serotonin causes depression and predisposes individuals to obesity. Lastly, depressed individuals often lead sedentary lives due to a lack of morale and energy to do involving tasks¸ increasing their risk of obesity. Henceforth, the patient presenting with obesity and depression can be helped by administering antidepressants like bupropion, which is effective against obesity and depression (Ghusn et al., 2022). Also, combined behavioral weight loss and cognitive behavioral therapies effectively treat comorbid depression and obesity (Lv et al., 2022). The intervention reduces obesity while equipping the patient with skills to cope with the loneliness and stereotypes contributing to depression.(Sensitivity of Obesity)


Ghusn, W., Bouchard, C., Frye, M. A., & Acosta, A. (2022). Weight-centric treatment of depression and chronic pain. Obesity Pillars, 3,

He, Y., Brouwers, B., Liu, H., Liu, H., Lawler, K., Mendes de Oliveira, E., … & Sadaf Farooqi, I. (2022). Human loss-of-function variants in the serotonin 2C receptor associated with obesity and maladaptive behavior. Nature Medicine, 28(12), 2537-2546. of Obesity)

Lv, N., Kringle, E. A., & Ma, J. (2022). Integrated behavioral interventions for adults with comorbid obesity and depression: a systematic review. Current Diabetes Reports, 22(4), 157-168.

Rao, W. W., Zong, Q. Q., Zhang, J. W., An, F. R., Jackson, T., Ungvari, G. S., … & Xiang, Y. T. (2020). Obesity increases the risk of depression in children and adolescents: Results from a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 267, 78-85. of Obesity)

(Sensitivity of Obesity)

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