Salud Mental

Psycopathology in obese patients


Javier Quintero
Miriam P Félix Alcántara
Cristina Banzo-Arguis
Raquel Martínez de Velasco Soriano
Eduardo Barbudo
Belen Silveria
Josefa Pérez-Templado Ladrón de Guevara


Introduction. In the past two decades the traditional definition of obesity has been challenged because it emphasizes the centrality of adipose tissue (a less inert and more interconnected tissue than previously thought), and it preserves the 19th century model that reduces the problem into simple imbalance between energetic incomes and expenditures vaguely modulated by psychosocial and neuroendocrine factors considered as mere adjuvants.

Objective. To relate psychopathology and obesity prioritizing the emotional-behavioral origin of adiposity, and start the breakdown of the general obesity group into emotional and behavioral profiles that warrant differential treatments.

Method. Descriptive data of 180 patients treated in the Overweight and Obesity Program of Infanta Leonor University Hospital (Madrid, Spain); a semi-structured interview and psychometric tests were performed. Association tests between affective (anxiety and depression) and Body Mass Index (BMI) variables are shown.

Results. Most patients showed high scores in psychopathology; 80.9% had major depressive symptomatology, 56.39% had high anxiety-trait, 48.26% had high anxiety-state, 24.4% met criteria for binge eating disorder and 11.9% of bulimia nervosa; 17.3% had criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder.

Discussion and conclusion. Our results support the association between obesity and psychopathology.

Obesity, binge eating disorder, depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder


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