Mental Health

True: Exercise, Weight Loss Lessens Depression in Obese

| by Alex Groberman

According to a new study, obese people that opt to participate in weight loss programs that center around exercise and lifestyle changes become less depressed.

Obesity, of course, has long-since been recognized as a key factor in a number of medical conditions including, but not limited to, depression. Past analysis had determined that when obese people make even mild changes en route to becoming healthier and losing a bit of weight, regardless of how much, they tend to be happier and not suffer as many bouts of depression as those who take the opposite route.

The key, though, has always been natural weight loss. Some weight loss medications have been linked to higher depression and suicide rates throughout the past few years. As such, researchers are very careful to point out that lifestyle changes to promote weight loss and healthiness should not be confused with taking the medicinal approach to shedding pounds.

According to Dr. Antohny Fabricatore, whose findings appear in the International Journal of Obesity, “… for people who have some symptoms of depression and are overweight (or) obese, there's some relief that comes with weight loss."

The researchers involved in this study reviewed a collection of 31 previous studies having to do with the relationship between weight loss in structured programs and problems with depression. For the purpose of analysis, obese patients had been randomly told to do various sorts of weight loss programs that included either diet-only or exercise-only activities. Some patients took medications to aid with the weight loss, while others did not. All in all, almost 8,000 people were involved in the studies.

After carefully checking on all of the results, it was determined that people who participated in almost any kind of weight loss program not based around medication saw improvements to their moods. Further, how much of the weight was lost didn’t seem to hinder the improvement to the mental health of those people.

Still, the authors of this study were careful to note that their findings don’t specifically apply to people who have been diagnosed with clinical depression. Apparently, whether or not those people are positively impacted by exercise plans and weight loss achievements is still up for debate.

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