Question: How is obesity associated with depression?
Answer: I don't think obesity per se causes depression, but clearly both conditions can exist together very frequently. One of the common symptoms of depression is overeating. People tend to medicate themselves using food if they have depression, and we are seeing more and more individuals with depression have compulsive overeating and put on a lot of pounds, and it may be very difficult to lose weight when you're depressed.
Now serotonin -- one of the brain chemicals that is thought to be involved in depression -- also regulates your appetite and is therefore involved in obesity as well. And very often the same drugs are used to treat both obesity and depression. With that said, it's very very important to lead a healthy lifestyle. A heart healthy lifestyle can also be good for the brain and can protect you against depression.
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