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Association between obesity and depressive symptoms in Mexican population

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  • Gerardo A Zavala
  • Spyros Kolovos
  • Alessandro Chiarotto
  • Judith E Bosmans
  • Maiza Campos-Ponce
  • Jorge L Rosado
  • Olga P Garcia


Publication details

JournalSocial psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology
DateAccepted/In press - 28 Mar 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 19 Apr 2018
DatePublished (current) - Jun 2018
Issue number6
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)639-646
Early online date19/04/18
Original languageEnglish


PURPOSE: Obesity and depression are among the leading causes of disability in Mexico, but their association has not been explored yet. The aim of the current study was to investigate the association between obesity and depression in Mexican population.

METHODS: We used data from the health and nutrition survey (ENSANUT 2012), which is representative of the Mexican population. Obesity was determined using the body mass index (BMI) and abdominal obesity by measuring waist circumference. Depressive symptoms were reported using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale Short-Form (CES-D-SF, scale 0-21). Regression analyses were performed between obesity and depression, adjusting for gender, age, living with a partner, education, and diabetes history.

RESULTS: Obese women had 1.28 (95% CI 1.07-1.53) times the odds of having depression in comparison with normal-weight women, whereas no association was found for men (OR 0.94; 95% CI 0.74-1.19). A significant association between BMI and depressive symptoms score (β = 0.05, 95% CI 0.02-0.07) was present in women, but no association was found for men (β = - 0.02, 95% CI - 0.05 to 0.00). There was a statistically significant association between waist circumference and depression scores again for women (β = 0.03, 95% CI 0.01-0.04) but not for men (β = 0.00, 95% CI - 0.01 to 0.01). No associations were found between abdominal obesity and depression for both genders. No association was found between different obesity severity levels and depression for both genders.

CONCLUSION: Obesity was associated with depression in Mexican women, whereas no association was found between obesity and depression in men.

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© The Author(s) 2018

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