How is obesity related to schizophrenia?

People with a severe mental illness are at increased risk of obesity, which may be due to genetic and/or socio-economic factors, lifestyle choices, or metabolic effects of psychotropic medications.

Obesity is defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health. A crude 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 on metric measures is generally considered obese. Being obese is a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

What is the evidence for obesity?

Moderate quality evidence suggests people with chronic (multi-episode) schizophrenia have increased rates of abdominal obesity compared to age and gender-matched population controls and compared to drug-naive patients with schizophrenia.

June 2020

Last updated at: 12:45 am, 19th June 2020
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