Higher odds of depressive symptomatology associated with obesity risk in Australian adolescents (#102)
Introduction: Depression and obesity are both significant health concerns among adolescents. This study examined the associations between overweight/ obesity, key obesogenic risk factors (physical inactivity, sedentary behaviour, diet) and depressive symptomatology in an Australian adolescent population.
Methods: Baseline evaluation data from a community-based obesity prevention project in the Australian Capital Territory were used. In 2012, 800 students (440 females, 360 males) aged 11-14 years, from six secondary schools, completed a questionnaire that assessed physical activity, sedentary behaviour and dietary intake. Weight status was defined by WHO BMI z-score criteria. The Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ) was completed and a cut-off score ≥10 indicated symptomatic depression. Logistic regression models were developed to estimate odds ratios for depressive symptomology.
Results: Among the sample, 27% were overweight/obese and 25% reported depressive symptomatology. After controlling for potential confounders, high levels of sedentary behaviours were associated with increased depressive symptomatology in both males (OR 1.22; p<0.05) and females (OR 1.12; p<0.05). Also, females who consumed greater amounts of sweet drinks were also more likely to report depressive symptomatology (OR 1.18; p<0.05). Significantly increased odds of depressive symptomatology were found among males who were overweight/obese (OR 1.83; p<0.05), but not females.
Conclusion: The relationship between obesity, obesogenic risk factors and depressive symptomatology suggest that mental health and physical health are both important targets for community-based interventions. These findings are both important targets for community-based interventions. These findings may be used to inform strategies and clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and treatment of obesity and depression.