Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Explaining the Obesity-Depression Connection

Health News
The connection between obesity and depression is a chicken and egg scenario whereby experts have equally interchanged the role of cause and effect between these two illnesses. Does being obese make one culpable of depression? Or does being depressed put him at risk of becoming obese? Shedding scientific light on this problem, findings about the role of the HPA axis, the hormonal pathway responsible for releasing cortisol (more popularly known as a stress hormone), combined with prominent sociological factors are identified to be at the heart of the problem.

Accordingly, behavioral anomalies, depression, and obesity have all been associated with the aberrant functioning of the HPA axis. However, experts claim that this neuroendocrine biological factor isn't the sole cause. Sociological factors concerning others' perception or treatment of the concerned individual are also considered. Inevitably, external factors which include sociological aspects affect internal physical responses. Due to prevailing social stigma against obesity, the obese person runs the risk of getting depressed once his body image and self-esteem are affected. Nonetheless, it also happens that a depressed person is in danger of becoming obese once he becomes physically immobilized by stress, which may prompt him to abandon his own health needs.

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Written By Maris Modesto

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