Is Obesity Causing Your Depression?

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

 We know that depression can cause a person to eat more and cause obesity. But did you know that obesity can cause depression? Read this. Watch the video on HealthyPlace.

The Brain-Gut Connection Has a Surprising Role in Depression

That there is a connection between depression and weight gain isn’t startling. People have long known that depression, with its sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy nutritional habits, and medications, can cause significant weight gain and obesity. What is startling is the discovery that the link between depression and obesity is a two-way street. Researchers have learned that gut health, including obesity, can cause depression.

Dubbed the second brain, our complex gut health impacts brain health. When the gut experiences poor conditions, the brain suffers. Obesity causes inflammation in the digestive tract. It also causes insulin resistance. Both inflammation and insulin resistance can damage the brain reducing its size and changing connectivity and functioning. We feel this in reduced cognitive functioning. This can also lead to mental health difficulties, brain fog, and confusion—all of which can be symptoms of depression.

This discovery that obesity triggers depression is significant. We now know that, literally, depression isn’t all in your head. It’s often in the gut, too. The link between depression and obesity shows that depression is more than psychological. It’s physiological as well. This also points to a path to avoid or reduce depression: work to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and increase physical and mental health.


Brain-Gut connection, the. (n.d.). Johns Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved July 2019 from    

Nott, L. (2013). Insidious connection between depression, unwanted weight gain, and obesity. Promises Behavior Health. Retrieved July 2019 from

Related Articles Dealing with Obesity, Gut Health, and Depression

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Today's Question: If you deal with obesity, have you noticed changes in your cognitive abilities over time? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, knowledge, and experiences on the HealthyPlace Facebook page.

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Mental Health Quote

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APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2019, July 2). Is Obesity Causing Your Depression?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Last Updated: July 3, 2019

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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