Overweight, Obesity Are Common Among Veterans With Depressive Disorders
Veterans with depressive disorders are more likely to have overweight and obesity than their non-veteran counterparts, according to new data presented at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo 2020.1
“A recent study indicated that 41% of veterans in the United States had obesity compared [with] 38% among non-veterans,” the researchers wrote. “In addition, veterans with depressive disorders have been shown to be at an increased risk for weight gain and obesity.”
To conduct the current study, the researchers evaluated 2018 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRSS)—touted as “the nation’s premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about US residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services.”2
For their analysis, the researchers defined as overweight or obesity as a body mass index of 25 kg/m2 or higher. Overall, 75.1% of the veterans and 64.9% of the non-veterans in the BRSS had overweight or obesity.
Of those with a depressive disorder, 78.7% of veterans and 68.1% of non-veterans had overweight or obesity. As context, 74.3% of veterans and 64.1% of non-veterans who did not have a depressive disorder had overweight or obesity.
“These results indicate having a BMI [of 25 kg/m2 or more] is higher among veterans, especially those [with] depressive disorders,” the researchers concluded. “This analysis provides evidence that more wellness programs, including nutrition education and mental health counseling, should be implemented for veterans, especially those [with] depressive disorders.”
- Hashmi S. Comparison of the rate of overweight or obesity among veterans and non-veterans with and without a known depressive disorder: an examination of the 2018 BRFSS data. Paper presented at: Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo 2020; October 17-20, 2020; Virtual. https://www.eventscribe.com/2020/FNCE2020/fsPopup.asp?efp=TENUR0JSUVgxMDc3MQ%20&PosterID=286933%20&rnd=0.7656507&mode=posterinfo
- Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reviewed August 31, 2020. Accessed October 21, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/brfss/index.html