Childhood depression and obesity link

The most recent childhood obesity data is cause for concern, with almost 28 per cent of Australian children recorded as either overweight or obese in 2014-15.

A recent meta-analysis of more than 51,000 study participants has revealed a positive link between childhood and adolescent obesity and depression.

Australian kids who are overweight and obese are much more likely to have depression than children of normal weight.

GPs are therefore being urged to consider this strong depression-obesity link during routine child consultations, and to regularly monitor children’s waist circumference, which directly correlates to depressive childhood symptoms. GPs can also urge children to increase their physical fitness (muscle strength), develop healthy eating habits (by following a diet high in vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole-grain foods and fish), and drink a large glass of water before each meal to boost satiety.

Importantly, family and lifestyle support is crucial for children affected in the long-term.

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