Study Finds Link Between Teen Girls, Depression and Obesity
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2014 Mar 26
Adolescent girls diagnosed with major depression are likely to gain an unhealthy amount of weight as they mature, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Obesity.
Further, obese teenager girls are prone to develop depression as they reach adulthood, according to the findings.
The same correlation between depression and weight was not found among boys and young men, according to the research.
The study assessed the heights and weights of 1,500 male and female participants from Minnesota at the age of 11, 14, 17, 20, and 24. The subjects were interviewed to determine whether they suffered from major depressive disorder. The researchers monitored weight gain and symptoms of depression by age 14, then from age 14 to 20, and from 20 to 24.
“When an adolescent girl receives treatment for depression, the clinician might consider incorporating something relating to healthy eating and activity,” Naomi Marmorstein, an associate professor of psychology at Rutgers–Camden and co-author of the study, said. “Exercise can assist in the treatment of depression to begin with, so it seems like a good reason to combine prevention efforts for both depression and obesity.”