The menace of obesity to depression and anxiety prevalence

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Jan;33(1):18-35. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2021.10.005. Epub 2021 Nov 5.


The incidence of depression and anxiety is amplified by obesity. Mounting evidence reveals that the psychiatric consequences of obesity stem from poor diet, inactivity, and visceral adipose accumulation. Resulting metabolic and vascular dysfunction, including inflammation, insulin and leptin resistance, and hypertension, have emerged as key risks to depression and anxiety development. Recent research advancements are exposing the important contribution of these different corollaries of obesity and their impact on neuroimmune status and the neural circuits controlling mood and emotional states. Along these lines, this review connects the clinical manifestations of depression and anxiety in obesity to our current understanding of the origins and biology of immunometabolic threats to central nervous system function and behavior.

Keywords: adiposity; mood disorder; neuroinflammation; neuroplasticity; nutrition; stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety*
  • Depression* / epidemiology
  • Depression* / etiology
  • Depression* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prevalence