Overweight and underweight people more often depressive

01/12/2009 15:00

Obese and underweight persons are more often depressive than people in the normal body weight range. Surprisingly, moderately overweight people appear to suffer from depressions less often than people with normal body weight, although this only applies to men. Moderately overweight women and women in the normal weight range on average score equally high on the depression scale.

Underweight men are more often depressed than overweight men. Though to a lesser degree, this also applies to women. Proportionally, more women than men suffer from depression. 

Differences between weight and depression cannot be accounted for by differences in age, education level and ethnic background between the various weight categories.

Score on the depression scale by body weight category, 2001-2008

Score on the depression scale by body weight category, 2001-2008

Marieke van Herten (CBS) and Leonore de Wit (VU Amsterdam)

Bron: Depression and body mass index, a u-shaped association