Associations Between Depressive Symptoms and Indices of Obesity in Adults With Prediabetes and Normal Blood Glucose Levels: Results From the Emotional Health and Wellbeing Study

Can J Diabetes. 2018 Dec;42(6):626-631. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2018.05.005. Epub 2018 May 23.


Objectives: This study describes associations between depressive symptoms and indices of obesity in a community sample of adults with prediabetes. The strengths of these associations were compared to those observed in individuals with normal blood glucose levels.

Methods: Cross-sectional data came from the baseline assessment of the Emotional Health and Wellbeing Study. Participants were classified as meeting the American Diabetes Association criteria for prediabetes (n=1,152) or normal blood glucose levels (n=1,567). Indices of obesity included body mass index, waist circumference and fat mass index.

Results: After adjusting for sociodemographic covariates, greater depressive symptoms were associated with greater body mass index, waist circumference and fat mass index. These associations were stronger in participants with prediabetes compared to participants with normal blood glucose levels. The pattern of results observed for body mass index and waist circumference held after controlling for self-reported fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity and sedentary time, but the strength of the interaction was attenuated for fat mass index.

Conclusions: Depressive symptoms were more strongly associated with indices of obesity in people with prediabetes than in people with normal blood glucose levels. Depressive symptoms may be a barrier to weight management in people with prediabetes.

Keywords: adiposity; adiposité; depression; depressive symptoms; dépression; obesity; obésité; poids; prediabetes; prédiabète; symptômes de dépression; weight.

MeSH terms

  • Adiposity
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Emotions*
  • Exercise
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Prediabetic State / complications
  • Prediabetic State / psychology*
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Waist Circumference


  • Blood Glucose