Comparison of depressive symptoms and overweight/obesity in high school students

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Title: Comparison of depressive symptoms and overweight/obesity in high school students
Creators: Ray, Lauren
Advisor: Clutter, Jill; Taylor, Christopher
Issue Date: 2011-06
Abstract: Obesity is a growing epidemic in America, reaching record levels of 25% or more in 30 states, and attributing to over 300,000 deaths each year. The most recent data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that approximately 1 in 5 teens is overweight, and 80% of obese teens will continue to be obese adults. Recent studies have revealed a correlation between depression and obesity, and possible implications of mental health and self-esteem influencing the persistence of obesity in adolescence. However, much of the current research pertaining to obesity and depression is conflicting as to the etiology, order of causation, and strength of correlation. Therefore, this study examined linkages between the two conditions in order to best address means of intervention and treatment. The methods involved a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data, retrieved from the CDC website. SPSS 19.0 was utilized to analyze complex samples. Results of the study indicate higher incidence of depressive symptoms and depression in overweight and obese teens (p<.05). Further, significantly higher incidence of severe depression were present within female obese teens as compared to obese male counterparts and obese teens within the 12th grade as compared to 9th grade cohort. Findings supported research that positively linked depression and obesity in adolescents. Additionally, the data supported research that states obesity correlates to decreases in self-esteem and increases in severity of depression, as seen through increases in severe depression within older (12th grade) teens. Results of the study may help to target at risk adolescent populations and support the addition of a psycho-social component that addresses self-esteem and social skills within adolescent obesity prevention and treatment programs.
Embargo: No embargo
Series/Report no.: The Ohio State University. School of Allied Medical Professions Honors Theses; 2011
Keywords: obesity
depressive symptoms
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