A randomized controlled trial of behavioral weight loss treatment versus combined weight loss/depression treatment among women with comorbid obesity and depression

Ann Behav Med. 2011 Feb;41(1):119-30. doi: 10.1007/s12160-010-9232-2.


Background: Obesity is associated with clinical depression among women. However, depressed women are often excluded from weight loss trials.

Purpose: This study examined treatment outcomes among women with comorbid obesity and depression.

Methods: Two hundred three (203) women were randomized to behavioral weight loss (n = 102) or behavioral weight loss combined with cognitive-behavioral depression management (n = 101).

Results: Average participant age was 52 years; mean baseline body mass index was 39 kg/m(2). Mean Patient Health Questionnaire and Hopkins Symptom Checklist (SCL-20) scores indicated moderate to severe baseline depression. Weight loss and SCL-20 changes did not differ between groups at 6 or 12 months in intent-to-treat analyses (p = 0.26 and 0.55 for weight, p = 0.70 and 0.25 for depressive symptoms).

Conclusions: Depressed obese women lost weight and demonstrated improved mood in both treatment programs. Future weight loss trials are encouraged to enroll depressed women.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00169273.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Idaho / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Washington / epidemiology
  • Weight Loss

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00169273