What is obesity and PTSD?

People with mental disorders often have increased rates of physical disorders, including obesity. This may be due to genetic factors, lifestyle choices, and metabolic effects of psychotropic medications. Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A crude population measure of obesity is the body mass index (BMI), which is a person’s weight divided by the square of his or her height. A person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese. Being obese is a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.

What is the evidence for obesity in people with PTSD?

Moderate to low quality evidence found around half of middle-aged people with PTSD are obese. Higher quality evidence finds this represents a medium-sized increase in risk of obesity when compared to people without PTSD. Moderate to high quality evidence also found large effects of increased rates of obesity in people with PTSD aged between 20 and 30 years and aged over 60 years when compared to age-matched controls.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 12:49 am, 26th October 2021
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