The Relationship Between Obesity and Depression Among Federally Qualified Health Center Patients
Background: Obesity has reached epidemic levels in Mississippi. In the shadow of these skyrocketing obesity levels, there are comorbid high levels of depression. Both obesity and depression complicate and, in many cases, compromise critical health outcomes. A significant association between obesity and depression has been suspected for decades. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between obesity and depression among patients receiving medical care from a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in a southern state. Methods: The sample was comprised of 3,272 subjects. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) was used to measure the severity of depression, and the Body Mass Index (BMI) was used to measure obesity. Results: Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the likelihood of depression decreased as the level of BMI increased, which is the opposite of the results in most previous research. Good physical health lessened the likelihood of depression. Less stress and fewer traumatic life events and greater self-esteem lowered the chance of depression. Conclusion: The findings indicated a need for health education and interventions to influence changes within communities and to address the medical and emotional needs of individuals with obesity and depression.