Canadian epidemiologists are still looking for a cure to the nation’s obesity problems. According to some medical professionals, the country is not resolving the crisis because it is ignoring one of its key driving factors: mental health problems.
Depression, anxiety and thought disorders are more prevalent than they were in prior years. Doctors have found a strong correlation between weight gain and mental health problems. They are willing to acknowledge that not all obese citizens suffer from mental health problems. However, they do argue that addressing these mental health concerns could be one of the most important ways to reduce the prevalence of obesity throughout the country.
Most medical professionals are telling their citizens to reduce the amount of food they consume and become more active. While that is clearly essential advice to anyone suffering with a weight problem, not everyone is able to adopt it. People suffering from depression and other mental health problems are less likely to find the motivation to follow disciplined exercise and diet programs. These conditions also reduce metabolism, which is another factor that can lead to weight loss.
In addition, recent studies have shown a link between obesity and insomnia. If obese people have difficulty sleeping at night, then they are also more likely to be drained of energy the following day. This clearly makes it more difficult for them to stay active enough to lose weight.
[box type=”important”]Many of the efforts used to treat these problems often leads to obesity as well. Many SSRIs, anti-psychotics and anti-anxiety medications list weight gain as a common side effect. This creates a clear dilemma for overweight, mentally ill citizens.[/box]
According toÂ Valerie Taylor, a Toronto based psychiatrist, Canadian health professionals have not done anything to address these concerns. Taylor said that mental health problems are one of the most important issues that needs to be addressed in efforts to resolve the obesity epidemic in Canada.
Although there is a clear correlation between obesity and mental health problems, it is difficult to quantify the exact impact mental health plays. The problem is that both conditions play into each other, so health experts can’t always determine which is the root cause of the problem.