Depression is a very serious problem that is present in a lot of individuals throughout the world. It is very important for the people throughout the world to understand that there are a lot of people around them who are going through these feelings and they should be the ones who get the support from their family and friends and peers so that they are able to live a better life and are able to get themselves out of the clouds of dark. In this article we are going to discuss the relationship of depression and obesity.
Since depression is such a disastrous problem where the individual is just cocooned inside them, but if this is coupled with the obesity then it can be said very easily that this lethal combination can just lower down the life expectancy to a decade or so. Obesity is a chronic disorder and it affects millions and millions of Americans and is caused by a variety of factors. Obesity poses serious health risks and causes a lot of health problems that include coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea, decreased mobility, joint problems, vascular problems, etc. Obesity alone accounts for about $100 billion in the health sector and the numbers are increasing at a very high speed.
It is not only the adults who are affected with obesity with depression, but there are also a lot of children who are victimized by this disease. The researchers who have been working on this subject have found that there are a lot of psychological factors that are involved in the relationship of this problem. They said that the families who are living in a very high stressed environment where the parents are in a constant fight with abusing each other verbally or physical abuse leads to the kids who are very depressed and this just have a very strong influence on the appetite of these children. In reaction to the abuse that they have to go through just leads them to be depressed and in order to combat the negative feelings, the kids just have then increased appetite to overcome those feelings that they are going through.
There was a study that was conducted on about 1000 children who were from the ages of 9 to 16 years.
The researchers said that there is a hormonal pathway that is a link between the obesity and the depression, which is known as the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal, which is also known as HPA axis. The researchers commented that there is a connection between these endocrine glands, which regulate the production of a lot of hormones through them, and the secretion of one hormone affects the secretion of another hormone and thus there is a process of check and balance between the different hormones. They also stated that this hormonal axis is also responsible for the release of the hormone called cortisol, which is the stress hormone, and this plays a very important role in the metabolism of energy along with many other functions. When an individual is under stress, there is a response being sent to the adrenal gland to secrete cortisol and this hormone causes the deposition of the fat around the abdomen, and this pattern of fat deposition is very damaging to health. It must also be noted here that the presence of the chronic stress also can emanate depression, which is only going to worsen the situation.
The researchers said that the presence of obesity, depression, as well as other behavioral disorders are also the cause of the abnormal functioning of the HPA axis and this is believe to cause obesity. This is a very complex problem and is thought to be a combination of both the social and biological factors. It is very difficult to asses that depression caused obesity or the obesity caused depression because both overlap with each other and it is really difficult to determine as to what started first, but in whatever the case both are very lethal problems and both need to be addressed as soon as possible because there is a lot of work that is needed to be done to get out of the depressed feelings as well as to control the major factors that are causing obesity. If this problem is being seen through the pathways, it is seen that when the individual is depressed, this just totally disrupts the pathway and causes the production of the stress hormones and thus causes obesity. On the other hand the obesity also disrupts the HPA axis and causes depression, therefore it is really important to combat one thing at a time, which will help to focus on the problem that is considered to be the primary factor by the physician or the psychologist who makes the diagnosis of the situation.
The researchers said that about 15% of the children who participated in the study were chronically obese and there were about 12% of the children who were obese at a point in time during their childhood or adolescence and they also added that in their perspective the situation of the children being obese and depressed was at very high rates as it was undertaken by the Disease Control Department.
The researchers also added that there are a lot of kids who are living an impaired quality of life and there is a high number of obese kids who belong in that category, this just not only put them at a health risk but also puts them at the risk of their lives. It was also added that the children who are obese, their quality of life is as bad as the kids who are suffering from cancer and that is something that needs to be taken that seriously and the researchers who were going through these researches were amazed to see the data that came up through studies that were being conducted. It is alarming for all of us and this is something that needs to be fixed as soon as possible because the future of a nation is with the future of the kids and their health is something that we need to care for.