Impact of body mass index on the psychopathological profile of obese women

Marcelo Papelbaum, Rodrigo Oliveira Moreira, Caroline Wust do Nascimento Gaya, Carolina Preissler, Walmir Ferreira Coutinho
2010 Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria  
OBJECTIVE: Obesity is a complex condition associated with a host of medical disorders. One common assumption is that obesity is also related to psychological and emotional complications. However, some studies have shown that obesity itself does not appear to be systematically associated with psychopathological outcomes.The objective of the present study was to evaluate the impact that the various degrees of obesity have on the psychopathological profile of obese patients. METHOD: The study
more » ... HOD: The study sample consisted of 217 women classified as obese (body mass index > 30 kg/m²) who sought medical treatment for weight loss and were consecutively invited to participate in the study. Anthropometric data were registered for all participants. Psychiatric evaluations were performed using the Beck Depression Inventory and Symptom Checklist-90. Multiple regression analysis was used in order to determine whether any of the studied variables (age, level of education, Beck Depression Inventory score and body mass index) were independently correlated with the score on the different subscales of the Symptom Checklist-90. RESULTS: Only body mass index was found to correlate significantly with the score on the somatization subscale of the Symptom Checklist-90 (r = 0.148, p = 0.035). This correlation remained significant after multiple regression analysis (p = 0.03). No correlation was found between body mass index and the score on any of the other subscales. CONCLUSION: The degree of obesity did not correlate with any of the psychological profiles commonly described in the medical literature, including depression and anxiety. The correlation between obesity and somatization, although weak, might simply be related to an overlapping of symptoms.
doi:10.1590/s1516-44462010000100009 pmid:20339733 fatcat:d4vhnxlxxvbhrdshtrs64pklni