Mental Health and Obesity – the Double Epidemic

The January issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry focuses on the close relationship between mental health problems and obesity.

The issue (just released online) features two review articles: One looks at the many links between obesity and chronic mental illness – as it turns out, a two-way street. The other reviews current approaches to improving obesity management in individuals with chronic mental illness.

The same issue also features an original article examining the relationship between abdominal obesity and cardiometabolic risk factors in kids with mental health problems – particularly in those who require treatment with new-generation antipsychotic medications.

In a guest editorial, I comment on the importance of understanding and addressing the links between these two co-epidemics. As regular readers are well aware, assessment for mental health problems has to be part and parcel of any assessment for obesity (the first of the 4Ms of obesity assessment).

When present, managing these mental health issues, more often than not, will be the lynchpin of successful weight management. Not addressing these issues will likely guarantee failure in weight management.

For readers, who do not have access to this journal, I will discuss these articles in more detail in upcoming posts.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan