Van Vuuren, C. L., Wachter, G. G., Veenstra, R., Rijnhart, J. J., Van der Wal, M. F., Chinapaw, M. J., & Busch, V. (2019). Associations between overweight and mental health problems among adolescents, and the mediating role of victimization. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1-10.
In this article, Van Vuuren et al. investigate the correlation between mental health problems and obesity among adolescents, considering the mediating role of victimization. The authors use self-reported data from secondary-school students on their mental health and victimization and data gained through measurements (Body Mass Index) to perform a mediation analysis. The main aim was to identify an evident association between mental health disorders and overweight or obesity. Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was applied to measure psychosocial problems. Particular questions were devised and asked to assess students’ suicidal thoughts and victimization. Medical assistants measured participants’, categorized them according to ethnicity and sex groups, height, and weight status.
The article is helpful to the research topic, as Van Vuuren et al. suggest there may be various indirect and untested associations and mediators. The authors report that the study’s main limitation is that it focuses on one mediator, when other potential ones exist. The study concludes that there is a significant direct association between overweight and mental health, and even stronger studied associations were identified in terms of obesity. Victimization has a significant indirect effect on suicidal thoughts and psychosocial problems of obese adolescents. This article provides crucial supplementary information for the research on mental stability and obesity.
Rajan, T. M., & Menon, V. (2017). Psychiatric disorders and obesity: a review of association studies. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 63(3), 182-190.
In this article, Rajan and Menon review the evidence and existing literature regarding obesity and psychiatric illnesses association. Their review includes 21 eligible studies on obesity and eating disorder (ED), alcohol use, personality disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression (fifteen articles), and anxiety (four). Newcastle-Ottawa checklist was applied to identify the study’s quality, while study designs evaluated the strength of the relationship between psychiatric problems and adiposity. This research focuses on assessing a range of potential associations, their direction, strength, and effect of various moderators.
The article of Rajan and Menon is useful for the research as it summarizes and categorizes the most suitable studies saving time that can be dedicated to other research activities. The main limitation of the review is the presence of confounding effects of different assessments of outcomes and unmeasured medical comorbidities. The authors indicate that psychiatric disorders and obesity, especially ED and depression, are closely linked and have a bidirectional relationship. The evidence is inconsistent and modest for anxiety disorders, while the associations with other psychiatric conditions have inadequate evidence. The authors also identified the crucial mediator role of gender.
Sutaria, S., Devakumar, D., Yasuda, S. S., Das, S., & Saxena, S. (2019). Is obesity associated with depression in children? Systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 104(1), 64-74.
The following article reviews and systematizes existing longitudinal and cross-sectional observational studies to determine the average odds of depression in overweight and obese children compared to normal-weight children. The random-effect meta-analysis and systematic review of selected eligible studies that involved children were conducted. The reviewed articles were published between 2000 and 2017 and found in such electronic databases as PubMed, PsychINFO, and EMBASE. The research of Sutaria et al. is predominantly focused on children under 18 years old tracking early effects of obesity on their mental health.
It is useful for the research because it brings insights regarding different age groups. The main limitations of the article are significant heterogeneity between studies and the possible miss of some eligible studies. The calculation of Sutarie et al. identifies higher chances of depression among obese children than among their normal-weighted peers, especially in obese female children. This article reiterates the findings of the previously presented study and will be used as a valuable supplementary source.
Weinberger, N. A., Kersting, A., Riedel-Heller, S. G., & Luck-Sikorski, C. (2018). The relationship between weight status and depressive symptoms in a population sample with obesity: the mediating role of appearance evaluation. Obesity Facts, 11(6), 514-523.
This article tries to find out which obese individuals are at a higher risk of developing depression and by which processes. It mainly focuses on the appearance evaluation as a potential mediator that greatly supplements previous studies concentrated on other mediators. The study of Weinberger et al. involved 1,000 obese participants representing both genders. They completed measures on depression and appearance evaluation through interviews and special questionnaires. The main limitation is that it has a cross-sectional design, while longitudinal data is needed to determine how variables influence each other.
Following statistical analyses, researchers reveal that both men and women tend to be unsatisfied with their appearance, which positively correlates with depression. In general, women expressed less satisfaction with their BMI and appearance and showed more depressive symptoms. However, satisfaction with appearance has a more significant mediation effect on the depression-obesity relationship in males. This article should be included in the research since it provides a deeper understanding of obesity-depression association and mechanisms of such relationship.
Lincoln, K. D. (2020). Race, obesity, and mental health among older adults in the United States: A literature review. Innovation in Aging, 4(5), 1-10.
This article reviews existing literature on the relationship between mental health issues, obesity, and race among American older adults. Its main aim is to present available findings and discuss current research gaps regarding cognitive, social, behavioral, physiological, and biological mechanisms that link race to obesity and mental health. It could be helpful for further research since Lincoln summarizes, discusses, and criticizes existing studies on older adults.
Reviewed evidence suggests that culture, race, and ethnicity may impact obesity-mental health problems association. For instance, some articles found that overweight African Americans are less likely to develop the psychiatric disorder than whites. The author further discusses such mechanisms as perceived body weight (rooted in cultural norms), Environmental Affordances (EA) model, unhealthy behaviors, and unhealthy dietary habits. Obese people who suffer from stress, lead an unhealthy lifestyle, eat junk food, and are not satisfied with their bodies are more likely to develop related psychiatric disorders. This study will be used as a guide and excellent source of information on potential causes and mechanisms of a positive association between obesity, stress, and mental illnesses.
Fox, C. K., Gross, A. C., Rudser, K. D., Foy, A. M., & Kelly, A. S. (2016). Depression, anxiety, and severity of obesity in adolescents: is emotional eating the link?. Clinical Pediatrics, 55(12), 1120-1125.
In this paper, Fox et al. aim to determine which effect anxiety and depression have on obesity severity and evaluate emotional eating as a potential mediator of the relationship. The study involved 102 adolescents who were under weight management treatment. Their demographics, BMIs were taken into consideration, while authors devised questionnaires to measure depression, anxiety levels, and eating behavior. This article adds new information to the research since it concentrates on the different mediators and provides evidence regarding the obesity/mental health problems association.
For instance, Fox et al. determined that obese people with depression are 3.5 times more likely to develop severe obesity than those without partially due to emotional eating. Nevertheless, the study found no correlation between the degree of adiposity and depression/anxiety; thus, it was not a mediator. Previous studies also identified body dissatisfaction, poor sleep, disordered eating, musculoskeletal pain, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation among mechanisms of depression/obesity relation. Their effects become visible when researchers compared people with obesity to the group members of the severe obesity category. The main limitations are using the CEBQ self-report tool, which was not validated, and the limited sample size. The study of Fox et al. would be a great supplementary source of information for the research since it adds new insights regarding potential mediators.
Fox, C. K., Gross, A. C., Rudser, K. D., Foy, A. M., & Kelly, A. S. (2016). Depression, anxiety, and severity of obesity in adolescents: is emotional eating the link?. Clinical Pediatrics, 55(12), 1120-1125. Web.
Lincoln, K. D. (2020). Race, obesity, and mental health among older adults in the United States: A literature review. Innovation in Aging, 4(5), 1-10. Web.
Rajan, T. M., & Menon, V. (2017). Psychiatric disorders and obesity: a review of association studies. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, 63(3), 182-190. Web.
Sutaria, S., Devakumar, D., Yasuda, S. S., Das, S., & Saxena, S. (2019). Is obesity associated with depression in children? Systematic review and meta-analysis. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 104(1), 64-74. Web.
Van Vuuren, C. L., Wachter, G. G., Veenstra, R., Rijnhart, J. J., Van der Wal, M. F., Chinapaw, M. J., & Busch, V. (2019). Associations between overweight and mental health problems among adolescents, and the mediating role of victimization. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1-10. Web.
Weinberger, N. A., Kersting, A., Riedel-Heller, S. G., & Luck-Sikorski, C. (2018). The relationship between weight status and depressive symptoms in a population sample with obesity: the mediating role of appearance evaluation. Obesity Facts, 11(6), 514-523. Web.