Do Anti-Depressants Promote Weight Gain?
There is no doubt that some people gain weight when started on anti-depressant medications. However, it is also true that the increased appetite and listlessness that accompanies “atypical” depression can contribute to weight gain. Finally, there is evidence that weight-gain in turn may decrease mood, which in turn may further exacerbate weight gain. Trying to cut through all of this is a study by Rafael Gafoor and colleagues from King’s College London, in a paper published in BMJ. They examined data from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, 2004-14, which included data on 136,762 men and 157,957 women with three or more records for body mass index (BMI). In the year of study entry, 17,803 (13.0%) men and 35,307 (22.4%) women with a mean age of 51.5 years were prescribed anti-depressants. While during 1, 836,452 person years of follow-up, the incidence of new episodes of ≥5 weight gain in participants not prescribed anti-depressants was 8.1 per 100 person years, it was slightly higher at 11.2 per 100 person years in those prescribed an anti-depressant. In the second year of treatment the number of participants treated with antidepressants for one year for one additional episode of ≥5% weight gain was 27. Thus, there appears to be a slight but discernible increased risk of weight gain associated with the prescription of anti-depressants, which may persist over time and appears highest during the second and third year of treatment. However, as the authors caution, these associations may not be causal, and residual confounding might contribute to overestimation of associations. Nevertheless, the notion that there may be a distinct weight-promoting pharmacological effect of some anti-depressants is supported by the finding that certain anti-depressants (e.g. mirtazapine) carry a far greater risk of weight gain than others (e.g. paroxetine). Given the frequency with which anti-depressants are prescribed, it could be argued that the contribution of anti-depressants to the overall obesity epidemic (particularly in adults) may be greater than previously appreciated. If nothing else, patients prescribed anti-depressants should be carefully monitored for weight gain and preventive measures may need to be instituted early if weight gain becomes noticeable. @DrSharma Edmonton, AB
New Accredited Online Case Studies in Obesity Management For Health Professionals
This week, the Canadian Obesity Network in partnership with mdBriefCase has launched a series of online learning modules for health professionals. This is part of the Network’s ongoing international initiative to create accredited learning resources on obesity management in primary and is closely aligned with the 5As of Obesity Management which are now available in Canada, Brazil, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Finland and Norway. These modules are available for free using the links below. (If you don’t already have an account, you will be asked to register but registration is free!) An Ounce of Prevention: Medical Management of Obesity-Related Comorbidity Meet Marion. Marion is 28 years of age, and has been struggling with her weight. Marion’s main concern about her weight has to do with her appearance and how she is received socially. Canadian Physician Module CLICK HERE Canadian Allied Health Module CLICK HERE Halting Obesity Progression Meet Robert. Robert is 19 years of age and has struggled with being overweight since childhood. He has a family history of diabetes on both sides. Robert recently lost 10kg, but was unable to sustain the weight loss. Canadian Physician Module CLICK HERE Canadian Allied Health Module CLICK HERE Sleep Debt in Adult Obesity in Brazil: A Critical Factor Often Overlooked Obesity is associated with many forms of sleep disruption due to a variety of causes including, for example, body pain, disrupted circadian rhythms, depression or snoring and other breathing-related sleep problems. Brazilian healthcare practitioners – CLICK HERE All other international healthcare practitioners – CLICK HERE @DrSharma Edmonton, AB
World Health Organisation Warns About The Health Consequences Of Obesity Stigma
Yesterday (World Obesity Day), the European Regional Office of the World Health Organisation released a brief on the importance of weight bias and obesity stigma on the health of individuals living with this condition. The brief particularly emphasises the detrimental effects of obesity stigma on children: “Research shows that 47% of girls and 34% of boys with overweight report being victimized by family members. When children and young people are bullied or victimized because of their weight by peers, family and friends, it can trigger feelings of shame and lead to depression, low self-esteem, poor body image and even suicide. Shame and depression can lead children to avoid exercising or eatng in public for fear of public humiliation. Children and young people with obesity can experience teasing, verbal threats and physical assaults (for instance, being spat on, having property stolen or damaged, or being humiliated in public). They can also experience social isolation by being excluded from school and social activities or being ignored by classmates. Weight-biased attitudes on the part of teachers can lead them to form lower expectations of students, which can lead to lower educa onal outcomes for children and young people with obesity. This, in turn, can affect children’s life chances and opportunities, and ultimately lead to social and health inequities. It is important to be aware of our own weight-biased attitudes and cautious when talking to children and young people about their weight. Parents can also advocate for their children with teachers and principals by expressing concerns and promo ng awareness of weight bias in schools. Policies are needed to prevent weight-victimization in schools.” The WHO Brief has important messages for anyone working in public health promotion and policy: Take a life-course approach and empower people: Monitor and respond to the impact of weight-based bullying among children and young people (e.g. through an -bullying programmes and training for educa on professionals). • Assess some of the unintended consequences of current health-promo on strategies on the lives and experiences of people with obesity. For example: Do programmes and services simplify obesity? Do programmes and services use stigmatizing language? Is there an opportunity to promote body positivity/confidence in children and young people in health promotion while also promoting healthier diets and physical activity?• Give a voice to children and young people with obesity and work with families to create family-centred school health approaches that strengthen children’s resilience and… Read More »
Residential Schools And Indigenous Obesity – More Than Just Hunger?
A recent CMAJ article, by Ian Mosby and Tracey Galloway from the University of Toronto argues that one of the key reasons why we see obesity and diabetes so rampant in Canada’s indigenous populations, is the fact that widespread and persistent exposure to hunger during the notorious residential school system may have metabolically “programmed” who generations toward a greater propensity for obesity and type 2 diabetes. There is indeed a very plausible biological hypothesis for this, “Hunger itself has profound consequences for childhood development. Children experiencing hunger have an activated hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal stress response. This causes increased cortisol secretion which, over the long term, blunts insulin response, inhibits the function of insulin-like growth factor and produces long-term changes in lipid metabolism. Through this process, the child’s physiology is essentially “programmed” by hunger to continue the cycle of worsening effects, with their bodies displaying a rapid tendency for fat-mass accumulation when nutritional resources become available.” While the impact of hunger may well have been one of the key drivers or metabolic changes, the authors failed to acknowledge another (even more?) important consequence of residential schools – the impact on mental health. Oddly enough, in a blog post I wrote back in 2008, I discussed the notion that the significant (and widespread) physical, emotional, and sexual abuse experienced by the generations of indigenous kids exposed to the residential school system would readily explain much of the rampant psychological problems (addictions, depression, PTSD, etc.) present in the indigenous populations across Canada today. The following is an excerpt from this previous post: This disastrous and cruel [residential school] policy resulted in much pain and despair in the First Nations’, Inuit and Metis people that lasts to this day (known as the “generational effect”). Sexual, physical and mental abuse was widespread; students were broken in heart and spirit; culture and identities were destroyed. Much (if not all) of what ails the Aboriginal peoples of Canada can be traced back to this policy – including possibly issues that affect Aboriginal health to this day. It is no secret that obesity and its consequences (e.g. diabetes) are rampant amongst the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. While poverty, breakdown of traditional lifestyle and culture and even genetic factors (thrifty genotype) have all been implicated in this, I wonder how much the misery caused by the residential school program had to contribute. Early traumatic life experiences including sexual, mental and physical… Read More »
Another Canadian Obesity Summit Exceeds Expectations
Wow, what a week! Just back from the 5th Canadian Obesity Summit, there is no doubt that this summit will live long in the minds (and hearts) of the over 500 attendees from across Canada and beyond. As anyone would have appreciated, the future of obesity research, prevention and practice is alive and kicking in Canada. The over 50 plenary review lectures as well as the over 200 original presentations spanning basic cellular and animal research to health policy and obesity management displayed the gamut and extent of cutting-edge obesity research in Canada. But, the conference also saw the release of the 2017 Report Card on Access to Obesity Treatment for Adults, which paints a dire picture of treatment access for the over 6,000,000 Canadians living with this chronic disease. The Report Card highlights the virtually non-existant access to multidisciplinary obesity care, medically supervised diets, or prescription drugs for the vast majority of Canadians. Moreover, the Report Card reveals the shocking inequalities in access to bariatric surgery between provinces. Merely crossing the border from Alberta to Saskatchewan and your chances of bariatric surgery drops from 1 in 300 to 1 in 800 per year (for eligible patients). Sadly, numbers in both provinces are a far cry from access in Quebec (1 in 90), the only province to not get an F in the access to bariatric surgery category. The presence of patient champions representing the Canadian Obesity Network’s Public Engagement Committee, who bravely told their stories to a spell-bound audience (often moved to tears) at the beginning of each plenary session provided a wake up call to all involved that we are talking about the real lives of real people, who are as deserving of respectful and effective medical care for their chronic disease as Canadians living with any other chronic disease. Indeed, the clear and virtually unanimous acceptance of obesity as a chronic medical disease at the Summit likely bodes well for Canadians, who can now perhaps hope for better access to obesity care in the foreseeable future. Thanks again to the Canadian Obesity Network for hosting such a spectacular event (in spectacular settings). More on some of the topics discussed at the Summit in coming posts. For an overview of the Summit Program click here @DrSharma Edmonton, AB