Predicting body mass index in women: The value of the psychological components of depression, anxiety, dietary restraint, and nutritional habits
OBJECTIVE To present an overview of the association between depressive symptoms in childhood and adolescence and subsequent overweight in later life. DATA SOURCES MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Web of Science for all indexed journals from January 1, 1997, to May 30, 2007. STUDY SELECTION Abstracts of 513 articles were reviewed manually. Studies were excluded if unrelated to depressive symptoms and overweight (n = 460), if they were conducted in an adult population (n = 10) or in a population of all age groups (n = 2), or if they were performed in clinic-based populations of overweight participants. In total, 32 articles were reviewed including 21 cross-sectional and 11 longitudinal reports. Main Exposure Depressive symptoms in childhood and adolescence. Main Outcome Measure Overweight. RESULTS Four cross-sectional studies that satisfied our quality criteria revealed an association between depressive symptoms and overweight in girls aged 8 to 15 years, reporting different effect sizes including a correlation coefficient of 0.14 and a regression coefficient of 0.27. Four longitudinal studies in accord with our quality criteria suggest that depressive symptoms in childhood or adolescence are associated with a 1.90- to 3.50-fold increased risk of subsequent overweight (95% confidence intervals varying from 1.02 to 5.80, respectively). CONCLUSION These results support a positive association between depressive symptoms at age 6 to 19 years and overweight in later life, assessed after a period of 1 to 15 years.