Depressed Women Can Lose Weight
If you are overweight, don’t let depression stop you from participating in a weight loss program to help you shed pounds. A recent study published in the journal Behavioral Medicine reveals that women with major depression are no less likely than women without the disorder to lose weight.
The study included almost 200 women ages 40 to 65 with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher: 65 women had major depressive disorder and 125 did not. The depressed women, who had not been seeking depression treatment, agreed to enroll in a one year weight loss program that involved group sessions, diet and exercise. After the one year, women with major depressive disorder lost more than 6½ pounds, while women without the disorder lost close to 8 pounds.
“We expected women with major depression to lose less weight, attend fewer sessions, eat more calories, and get less exercise than those without depression,” says Evette J. Ludman, Ph.D., the lead author of the study. “We were surprised to find no significant differences between the women who had depression and those who did not have it.”
What was the key to successful weight loss? “Just showing up,” says Dr. Ludman. Women who attended at least 12 treatment sessions lost more weight than women who attended fewer sessions, regardless of their depression status.