Weight control measures can help women beat depression

Washington: A new study has revealed that weight management programs also help in reducing depression among black women.

Dori Steinberg, lead author, said that the interventions that focus on maintaining one's weight, may have more widespread effects and that, they were able to reduce depression, among a population that was severely socioeconomically disadvantaged and had limited access to depression treatment, the result of which was comparable to what is seen with traditional approaches like counseling or medication treatment.

The study by researchers from Duke University also revealed that black women with depression, compared to their white counterparts, are less likely to receive treatment for it (39.7 percent vs. 54 percent ) and among those who seek treatment, blacks are less likely than whites to receive care that corresponds to clinical practice guidelines.

According to the study, depression was three times more common for those with incomes below the federal poverty level.

The study further showed that obesity was also more severe among black women, relative to other racial/ethnic groups, which could lead to a higher prevalence of obesity-related chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease and black women find it more difficult to lose weight.

Steinberg stated that these higher occurrences may also have an impact on psychosocial outcomes such as depression, and hence interventions that focus on behavioral weight control may present a useful opportunity to address both obesity and depression.

This study is published in the American Journal of Public Health.

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